Analyst: New iPad likely to have ‘significant’ refresh

Now that Apple has sent out invitations to its upcoming media event, speculation about the next iPad is flying fast and furious.

Shaw Wu of Sterne Agee said in an analyst note Wednesday that it’s likely that the new iPad refresh will be “significant” and include several important new features, including a better display, faster processor and integration of Siri software.

The key feature, Wu said, could be the inclusion of 4G LTE connectivity, adding that his check-in with the supply chain indicates that Apple has taken pains to make sure that its 4G devices will have good battery life. The ability to use 4G networks has been a serious drain to batteries, which has proven to be a downside for Apple’s competitors.

“We continue to believe this significant refresh will likely help drive higher iPad sales and help further differentiate” the tablet from competitors like the Kindle Fire, Wu wrote.

Wu has a “buy” rating on Apple, which cracked a market capitalization of $500 billion Wednesday on the news of its media event.

Related stories:

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Apple confirms media event for March 7, likely for iPad

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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