Short for iPad 3rd generation, Apple's iPad 3 is the successor to the company's original iPad and iPad 2 handheld computing devices. Despite widespread speculation prior to its release that the third generation iPad's official name would be the iPad 3, Apple launched the device in March 2012 as simply "the new iPad."
Much like the iPhone 4S vs. the iPhone 4, the new iPad offers a form factor that's the same size and nearly identical to that of the iPad 2, but underneath the hood are a number of important new features and enhancements. Among the iPad 3's new features are a new Retina display with 2048-by-1536 resolution and 3.1 million pixels, an A5X chip with quad-core graphics support, a 5 megapixel iSight camera with the ability to record HD video in full 1080p, AirPlay integration with the new Apple TV device, and 4G LTE support on both Verizon and AT&T networks. Even with the new features, the iPad 3 retains the iPad 2's weight (1.5 lbs) and battery power (up to 10 hours).
The iPad 3 was followed by a fourth generation iPad (the "iPad 4"), which debuted along with the iPad Mini in October 2012, just seven months after the iPad 3 was first released.