Citing a source familiar with Apple's next iPad, Reuters was the latest to report on Tuesday that the third-generation tablet will be capable of operating on 4G long-term evolution networks from carriers AT&T and Verizon. The 4G-capable iPad will offer speeds up to 10 times faster than the current 3G models.
The report by authors Poornima Gupta and Sinead Carew suggests Apple's primary intention in offering 4G LTE is to "tempt more U.S. customers to pay extra to watch high-quality video on the go." It also said that the addition of 4G could "go a long way toward banishing the sometimes shaky video quality of older devices."
While the report focused on video playback, it did not offer any indication that Apple plans to modify or expand its own offerings on iTunes. One recent separate report from last week indicated that Apple is "pushing ahead" with plans to release a streaming TV service, but that is not expected to become available until later this year.
Apple's interest in online video is also believed to be tied to the company's rumored plans to build a full-fledged television set. Numerous reports have indicated that Apple is at work on such a device, including one in January that said famed Apple designer Jonathan Ive has a 50-inch prototype set in his California design studio.
The quality of video on the go could be a greater factor with the next-generation iPad, as it is expected to feature a high-resolution Retina Display. A pair of recent rumors have even suggested that Apple will name its next tablet the "iPad HD," for high-definition.
The third-generation iPad is expected to have a screen resolution of 2,048-by-1,536 pixels, which would be a pixel density double that of the current iPad 2. It's also a resolution greater than a 1080p high-definition television set.
Beyond the iPad, video is also expected to play a part in this week's media briefing in the form of an updated Apple TV. Recent stock-outs of the current model, released in late 2010, strongly suggest that Apple plans to update the product with a new model this week.
Apple's media event will be held Wednesday, March 7 at 10 a.m. at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Calif. AppleInsider will have full, live coverage.
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