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iPad 3 retina display hinted at by iBooks 2 code

The third iPad could have an iPhone-like retina display, if hi-res imagery hidden within the iBooks 2 code is any indication.

The third iPad could arrive boasting an eye-treating retina display, if hi-res imagery hidden within the iBooks 2 app is to be believed.

iBooks 2 -- the new version of Apple's ebook store that introduces interactive textbooks -- was only announced yesterday, but already its code is being enthusiastically dissected. 9to5Mac has found image assets with a '2x' label at the end, suggesting that the pictures are designed to look good on a device with a pumped-up resolution.

Indeed, the '2x' version images are of a higher resolution. But is this evidence that the iPad 3 will boast an improved display?

It's certainly a strong hint, and to be honest we're expecting Apple's pixel-packing retina display to feature in the iPad 3 anyway. Compared to the retina-sporting iPhone 4, 4S and latest iPod touch, the iPad 2's 1,024x768-pixel screen is starting to look a little lacklustre by comparison.

Other features we're expecting to see on the third iPad are support for Apple's robot Geoffrey Siri and possibly 4G support, though we won't be able to take advantage of that in the UK, where we're saddled with boring old 3G until 2013 at the very earliest.

Apple is worming its way into schools with digital textbooks -- is it possible we'll see a smaller iPad coming this year, designed to be used by kids?

What are your iPad 3 predictions? Tell us in the comments or on our Facebook wall.