According to a new report from MacRumors, a new iPad identifier has begun cropping up in developers’ app analytics. The device appears to be based on Apple A6 processor, or a close variant of the new chip.
MacRumors has received word from a developer who has seen evidence of a previously unknown “iPad3,6” device showing up in his app analytics. Most interestingly, the device’s processor targets the new ARMv7s architecture that supports the custom A6 system-on-a-chip found in the iPhone 5. This new iPad thus appears to be running either an A6 chip itself or a variation on Apple’s custom A6 design.
The iPad bears an identifier of “iPad3,6,” suggesting that it is likely a new or modified version of the third-gen Retina iPad, which bears an identifier of “iPad3,1”, “iPad3,2”, or “iPad3,3,” depending on the particular model.
The two main possibilities are that this device is either a refreshed version of the 3rd-gen iPad with a Lightning connector, as previous rumors (1, 2, 3) have suggested, or an all-new model of the iPad intended as a successor to the current 3rd-gen iPad – the fact that it uses an A6 chip could mean that Apple decided not to change the identifier to “iPad4,x”.
It’s also highly unlikely that the device represents the iPad mini, as Apple is expected to use iPad 2-like hardware for the 7.85-inch iPad, which is based on the A5 processor. Exactly what the mysterious identifier refers to is unclear, but one thing seems like a sure bet: there will probably be new iPad hardware of some sort released in the near future!