iPad 3 to Feature Apple TV Dock?

In a couple of days time, on the seventh of March, Apple is hosting an event in San Francisco at which the company is expected to announce the latest in its line of iPads – unofficially named the iPad 3. This being an Apple product, the rumours about it range from the almost proven fact to the entirely ridiculous. Here is one of my predictions – it probably falls into the ‘entirely ridiculous’ category!

We heard many rumours about a new Apple TV at the end of last year with many people rumouring that a new TV set would be released by Apple at the upcoming event. This seems a little to far-fetched to me – but it is Apple, so nothing’s impossible! – but I think it is possible that an updated, HD-compatible Apple TV will be released. The Sub-Retina display is almost a guaranteed feature of the next iPad meaning HD content will be available for consumption on the new tablet. If this is true, no doubt Apple will upgrade all its iTunes content – or at least as much as they can – to 1080p HD. This will require a new Apple TV with new hardware, so why not throw in a few extras while you’re there?

Many journalists with ‘reliable sources’ – notably Leo Laporte and a few of his net-casting friends – have predicted that the next Apple tablet will include an unexpected port. With this and the new Apple TV in the works – there is no evidence this is actually ‘in the works’ – it would make sense for there to be a new way to combine the two, and a simple dock would fit this purpose. One solution would be the design found on the Galaxy Nexus and other Android phones. These have three pin connectors which allow the devices to charge, and synchronise to an extent.

In the iPad 2, Apple added the magnetic cover on the inside of the device to make protecting the device and propping it up much easier. I feel they could go down the same line with this idea, saying it is as simple as dropping the tablet into the new Apple TV dock to put all your content on the big(ish) screen. While the Apple TV rumours do fit into this theory quite nicely, they may not be essential. It is entirely possible that a proprietary dock for the new device could be created boosting it’s functionality and tweaking the UI while keeping all your content ready for pushing to the TV.

As I said, entirely ridiculous. What do you think of this theory? Have any better ones? Feel free to share your ideas no matter how unrealistic in the comments – that’s what they’re there for!

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