POSTED: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - 12:45pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - 12:49pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Later today Apple is expected to unveil its latest incarnation of the iPad.
The company has already sold 55 million iPads to date, and some analysts expect they could sell that many this year alone, with a new upgrade.
Even as Apple's then CEO Steve Jobs unveiled iPad2 last spring, speculation was already underway about what features the next iPad might bring.
Much of the chatter was about the screen.
"The higher resolution screen is one of the things that could really add to the umph, add to the way videos work," says PC Magazine's Dan Costa.
A high resolution retina display screen, like the one found on apple's iPhone 4, is widely expected to be part of today's upgrade.
"That means the little dots that make up the picture will be a lot smaller, to the point where you may not even perceive them, and the picture will look more like a photo as opposed to a video screen," explains CNET.com's Brian Cooley.
That's such a big deal, Cooley's colleagues at CNET.com expect the updated tablet to be called iPad HD instead of iPad3.
Combined with an anticipated upgrade to 4G connectivity, video streaming would improve on the new iPad, as well as web browsing.
"4G should feel like the same broadband you have at home, more or less when you're on the go. And that's a big breakthrough," Cooley notes.
An improved camera is also expected to be part of the new iPad mix, as well as Siri, the voice assistant first introduced last fall on the iPhone4S.
Not expected to change, for now, anyway, is the iPad's size and its price, still $499 for a base model.
That's even with smaller, cheaper tablet competitors on the market.
"The Kindle fire is less than half the price of the iPad, and they're doing great volumes there. So I think eventually, Apple's going to want to get into that market," notes Costa.
While the price point is not expected to drop for the new iPad, there's speculation the iPad2 may stick around at a lower price.
Numerous retailers are already discounting its price in anticipation of the new model.