Somewhat strangely, MacRumors was contacted recently by a developer who noticed an “iPad3,6″ data string show up in the analytics log of one for one of his applications. What’s more, the device in question reportedly “targets the new ARMv7s architecture that supports the custom A6 system-on-a-chip found in the iPhone 5.”
So what we have here is a seemingly new iPad model running on Apple’s new A6 processor, or a variation thereof. But given Apple’s naming scheme for its products, the appearance of an “iPad 3,6″ is rather perplexing.
Major iPad updates see an increase in the first digit of a data string. As an example, the first iteration of the iPad was 1,1 while the iPad 2 was labeled as 2,1. A minor software upgrade or hardware tweak to the iPad, for example, might result in the data string “2,2″.
So the latest iPad is certainly the “iPad3,1″, and we have “iPad3,2″ and “iPad3,3″ designations to account for the number of wi-fi and cellular variations Apple has put out, but what in the world is the iPad3,6?
MacRumors also isn’t quite sure as to what the newly discovered data string might represent:
Alternatively, this new iPad3,6 could represent Apple’s 2013 iPad model, which is expected to run some flavor of the A6 chip. We would, however, have expected that device to carry an “iPad4,x” designation.
This new iPad3,6 does not appear to represent the “iPad mini” reportedly scheduled for launch later this month, as that device is said to be a derivative of the iPad 2 running Apple’s cheaper A5 chip and seems to have already been seen in logs carrying “iPad2,5″ and “iPad2,6″ designations.
Interestingly, it has been speculated that Apple will release a revamped third-generation iPad in conjunction with the impending release of the rumored iPad Mini. Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst from KGI Securities with a rather remarkably accurate track record when it comes to Apple rumors, noted as much back in early August when he said a modified iPad was on track for launch later this Fall.
In early October, a report surfaced claiming that Apple was planning on sending out invitations to a special iPad-themed media event on October 10th. That’s this Wednesday, and assuming that that rumor holds true, that would point to an actual event date about 10 days later and a launch window that spans from late October to the beginning of November.
I guess we might be finding out soon enough just what kinda tricks Apple has up its sleeve.