Differences between ipad 3 and ipad 4: everyipad


iPad Q&A

Update Published August 29, 2017

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What are all the differences between the ipad tablet 4th ren (Late 2012) and the máy tính bảng ipad 3rd gene (Early 2012) that it replaced?

Please lưu ý that the ipad tablet 3rd gen (Early 2012) và iPad 4th ren (Late 2012) both have been discontinued. However, this Q&A has been updated subsequently with current iOS support and more & is quite useful for anyone buying or selling one of these models on the used market.

With even a fairly detailed physical evaluation of the ipad 4th ren models -- the ipad 4th gene (Wi-Fi Only), ipad 4th gen (Wi-Fi/AT&T/GPS), and iPad 4th ren (Wi-Fi/Verizon & Sprint/GPS) -- and the máy tính bảng ipad 3rd ren models replaced -- the ipad 3rd gene (Wi-Fi Only), ipad 3rd gen (Wi-Fi/Cellular AT&T/GPS), & iPad 3rd ren (Wi-Fi/Cellular Verizon/GPS) -- it would be easy to mistake the two lines for one another. Both effectively look identical from the front and even dimensions and weight are the same.

However, there are several external & internal differences that are important as well as useful identification differences.

Photo Credit: Apple, Inc.

External Similarities & Differences

Both the máy tính bảng ipad 3rd Gen & iPad 4th ren models use cases with either a black or white glass front & an aluminum back (with a black plastic area for configurations with cellular data connectivity) and have a multitouch, glossy, IPS LED-backlit 9.7-inch 2048x1536 (264 ppi) "retina" display. They also have a mono speaker, built-in microphone and support system-wide đoạn phim mirroring & up to 1080p video clip out. Both the ipad tablet 3rd Gen và iPad 4th ren models tư vấn the magnetic "Smart Cover," too.

Both lines have front & rear mounted cameras. The rear "iSight" camera on both lines is the same with a 5 megapixel sensor and support for still photographs as well as HD đoạn clip recording (1080p up lớn 30 FPS with audio). The front-mounted cameras, however, are different. The máy tính bảng ipad 3rd gen models have a "FaceTime" camera that takes VGA quality photos and video clip up to lớn 30 FPS. The máy tính bảng ipad 4th ren models, on the other hand, have a "FaceTime HD" camera with a 1.2 megapixel sensor & takes videos up khổng lồ 720p.

Wired connectivity is a major point of differentiation. The ipad tablet 3rd gen models have the older, "long and flat" Dock Connector port, whereas the máy tính bảng ipad 4th gen models have a smaller, rectangular "Lightning" port that is faster but not compatible with the earlier standard.

Internal Similarities và Differences

The ipad tablet 3rd Gen and iPad 4th ren lines both originally shipped with 16 GB, 32 GB, or 64 GB of storage (and a 128 GB option was added to lớn the ipad tablet 4th gene line later) as well as an accelerometer, a three-axis gyroscope, an ambient light sensor, và a digital compass. As confirmed by the third-party Geekbench benchmark, both lines have 1 GB of RAM, too.

However, there are significant internal differences, as well. The máy tính bảng ipad 3rd ren models are powered by a 1 GHz dual core táo khuyết A5X processor whereas the ipad 4th ren models have a faster 1.4 GHz dual core táo apple A6X processor. Both have quad vi xử lý core graphics processors.

Connectivity is substantially different. Both lines tư vấn Bluetooth 4.0 & 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, but the máy tính bảng ipad 4th gene models tư vấn dual band/dual stream 802.11n on both the 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz frequencies.

The máy tính bảng ipad 4th gene models also tư vấn true global 4G/LTE coverage -- the ipad tablet 4th gen (Wi-Fi/AT&T/GPS) on bands 4 & 17 và the máy tính bảng ipad 4th gen (Wi-Fi/Verizon và Sprint/GPS) on bands 1, 3, 5, 13, and 25. By contrast, the ipad 3rd gene models have much more limited "4G" support. In fact, in response to criticism from consumer groups and government agencies, apple formally changed the advertising of ipad tablet 3rd gen from "Wi-Fi + 4G" to "Wi-Fi + Cellular."

Battery life is estimated as the same for both lines. The ipad tablet 3rd Gen and iPad 4th gene lines each provide an estimated ten hours of battery life "surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching clip or listening to music" và 9 hours of surfing the website using cellular data on capable models.

Identification Differences

Although it is quick lớn visually differentiate the ipad tablet 3rd Gen & iPad 4th ren models by the Dock Connector and Lightning ports, respectively, on the bottom each line, it is not possible to lớn visually differentiate between the cellular capable models in each line.

Consequently, the model Number typically is one of the best methods of external identification:


Model Number

iPad 3rd gen (Wi-Fi Only)


iPad 3rd gene (Wi-Fi/Cellular AT&T/GPS)


iPad 3rd gen (Wi-Fi/Cellular Verizon/GPS)


iPad 4th gen (Wi-Fi Only)


iPad 4th gen (Wi-Fi/AT&T/GPS)


iPad 4th gene (Wi-Fi/Verizon & Sprint/GPS)


The máy tính bảng ipad 3rd Gen và iPad 4th gene models can be differentiated by other identifiers as well, such as the Order Number, which can be located by selecting the Settings app & pressing General > About and scrolling down khổng lồ what is specified as "Model" within the iOS.

To pinpoint a specific máy tính bảng ipad 3rd gene or ipad 4th gene by a variety of different identifiers -- including its Serial Number -- please refer to EveryiPad.com"s Ultimate iLookup feature available for quả táo 5 or later.

iOS support Differences

The ipad tablet 3rd gene models originally shipped with quả táo 5.1 và the máy tính bảng ipad 4th gen models with quả táo 6. Both models essentially are fully supported by game ios 6, except that Panorama is not supported on either máy tính bảng ipad (or any other iPad).

Both the ipad tablet 3rd Gen và the ipad tablet 4th Gen tư vấn iOS 7, and both devices support all game ios 7 basic functionality, which includes Control Center, Notification Center, và Multitasking, as well as Safari và iTunes Radio. Both devices continue to tư vấn Siri, but still vì not tư vấn Panorama.

Additional feature tư vấn varies accordingly:

iPad 3rd GeniPad 4th Gen
AirDropFilters In CameraFilters In PhotosSwipe lớn Capture

Running tiện ích ios 7, the ipad 3rd Gen và iPad 4th gene both tư vấn Filters in Photos và more advanced photo functionality that táo apple calls "square and clip formats & swipe lớn capture."

However, the máy tính bảng ipad 4th gen also supports AirDrop whereas the máy tính bảng ipad 3rd gen does not. Neither device supports "Filters in Camera."

Both the máy tính bảng ipad 3rd Gen and iPad 4th Gen tư vấn iOS 8, as well, but support is minimal with no advanced features for the máy tính bảng ipad 3rd Gen. By contrast, the ipad 4th gene is fully supported by quả táo 8 with the exception of the "Health" & "Apple Pay" features.

Both the máy tính bảng ipad 3rd Gen & iPad 4th Gen tư vấn iOS 9, too. Tư vấn is minimal for the ipad 3rd Gen. It"s a bit better for the máy tính bảng ipad 4th Gen, with the majority of functionality supported -- including Spotlight và Siri improvements -- but the advanced multitasking features -- Slide Over và Split View -- are not supported.

Finally, the ipad tablet 4th ren supports tiện ích ios 10, but it lacks tư vấn for Raise to Wake, Rich Notifications, and Ride-Booking and does not tư vấn iOS 11 or later versions of the iOS. The ipad 3rd ren does not support iOS 10 or later.

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None of these models tư vấn the current version of the iOS.

Original Pricing Differences

As originally shipped, the ipad tablet 3rd Gen và iPad 4th gen models were offered at the exact same price points:

Capacity: Price with Wi-Fi: Price with Wi-Fi, Cellular Data & A-GPS:
16 GB 32 GB 64 GB

The final 16 GB configurations of the ipad 4th ren (Wi-Fi Only) were US$399 và the (iPad 4th gen (Wi-Fi/AT&T/GPS), & iPad 4th gene (Wi-Fi/Verizon & Sprint/GPS) were US$529 until they were discontinued on October 16, 2014.

For pricing details in dozens of other countries, please refer to lớn the máy tính bảng ipad specs page for the device of interest as well as EveryiPad.com"s Global Original Prices section.

Comparison Chart

The major differences between the ipad 3rd Gen và the ipad 4th ren are summarized below:

iPad 3rd gene iPad 4th gene Display Size:Resolution:Processor Speed:Processor Cores:Processor Type:RAM: Storage: Data Networks: Bluetooth: Dual Stream Wi-Fi: Front Camera: Rear Camera:A-GPS: Data/Power Port: Max Battery Life: Original iOS: iOS 7 Support: iOS 8 Support: iOS 9 Support: iOS 10 Support: iOS 11+ Support: Color Options: Dimensions (In): Weight (Lbs): Model Numbers: Original Price:
2048x1536 (264 ppi) 2048x1536 (264 ppi)
1 GHz 1.4 GHz
Apple A5XApple A6X
1 GB 1 GB
16, 32, 64 GB16, 32, 64, 128 GB
Wi-Fi/Wi-Fi và Cellular Data Wi-Fi/Wi-Fi và Global 4G
1080p (5 MP) 1080p (5 MP)
Dock Connector Lightning
9-10 Hours 9-10 Hours
iOS 5.1 iOS 6
Yes (Partial) Yes (Complete*)
Yes (Minimal) Yes (Complete*)
Yes (Minimal) Yes (Basic)
NoYes (Basic)
Black or trắng Black or trắng
9.50 x 7.31 x 0.379.50 x 7.31 x 0.37
1.44, 1.46 1.44, 1.46

* The ipad tablet 4th ren models completely tư vấn iOS 7 with the exception of the minor "Panorama" & "Filters in Camera" photographic features & iOS 8 with the exception of the "Health" & "Apple Pay" features.

Comparison Summary

Ultimately, when the ipad tablet 4th ren was released, those who owned an ipad 3rd Gen mã sản phẩm were unlikely lớn see a reason to upgrade (unless the global 4G coverage and/or AirDrop support were sufficient reasons alone).

However, the ipad 4th ren does provide (1) faster performance, (2) enhanced data connectivity, (3) a better camera, and (4) more advanced, and current, game ios support. These certainly were worthy improvements for those with an older máy tính bảng ipad or those who were buying an ipad for the first time.

Just compared khổng lồ one another, và ignoring newer models, the ipad 4th gene is the better choice for most users. Nevertheless, the máy tính bảng ipad 3rd ren models have the "legacy" Dock Connector for compatibility with older accessories, which some with increasingly vintage accessories could find worthwhile, too.

Of course, because the máy tính bảng ipad 3rd gen does not tư vấn iOS 10 or later and the máy tính bảng ipad 4th gen does not support iOS 11 or later, neither is capable of running a modern version of the iOS. At this point, most users would be better off with a newer iPad.

iPad Purchase Options

There are at least dozens of places to lớn buy a used iPad. However, purchasing from a unique company with extensive táo apple knowledge -- & after sales support -- will provide the best experience & save you money and time, too.

In the US, site sponsor Adorama sells new ipad models with free shipping. Other World Computing and JemJem sell used & refurb ipad tablet models at bargain prices with không tính tiền shipping, as well. Finally, if you need to sell an iPad, A+ BBB-rated Cash for Your Mac & GoRoostr will buy your older máy tính bảng ipad with an instant quote and prompt payment.

In the UK, site sponsor Hoxton Macs has a large number of used & refurbished máy tính bảng ipad models with a one-year warranty and miễn phí next day delivery throughout the UK. Delivery across Europe also is available starting at just £9.99 for two-day delivery to lớn France and Germany.

In Canada, site sponsors chip core 1 & Carbon Computing both sell new ipad models with free shipping in Ontario & affordable shipping across Canada. Vi xử lý core 1 và Carbon Computing also each sell used iPads at discount prices, take a look at both for their current inventory khổng lồ find the best one for you.

In Australia, site sponsor Mac thành phố may have used ipad tablet models in stock, as well. All Macs và devices are available with a không tính tiền warranty & fast shipping across Australia.

Please also see EveryiPad.com"s Ultimate iComparison feature khổng lồ dynamically compare any ipad to any other iPod, iPhone, or ipad (new or old alike).