According to a report in the Wall Street Journal (Feb 5th, 2011) production has begun on the iPad 2.
Rumors of the iPad 2 continue to surface all over the web but Apple has not officially announced a release date for the device although it’s widely speculated that a new iPad will be announced next month with a release date sometime in April.
Apple has sold almost $8 Billion dollars worth of iPad’s since it’s original launch in April 2010, and although I didn’t buy the original iPad, I plan on purchasing two or three iPad 2’s as soon as they’re available.
Reuters reported spotting an iPad 2 prototype on February 2nd in San Francisco and confirmed the new device had a front facing camera. Manufacturing sources have said the new device will have both a front facing and rear facing camera to support Apple’s popular face time application. Other than the cameras no confirmed reports of additional new features have be made however the most popular rumors about the new iPad 2 are:
Front and Rear Facing Cameras : Confirmed take this prediction to the bank!
Slimmer, Lighter : The odds the iPad 2 will be slimmer and lighter perhaps with a flat back similar to the iPhone 4 design are pretty good, I’d rate the probability at 95%
Retina Display: The odds of an improved or Retina display however are less likely if Apple plans to maintain it’s industry leading price point of $499. While a Retina display would be great the cost of adding one to the iPad would put heavy pressure on Apple to raise the entry level price over the $500 dollar mark which is not likely. I’d give the possibility of an improved display(perhaps a 720p resolution) at 80% however the likelihood a 10” Retina display appear on a $499 iPad is less than 25%, sorry guys
Wide Range Speakers:
The thoughts of a better sounding iPad with improved speakers are highly desirable and likely to happen. While headphones work great with the iPhone and iPod, the iPad is more of a show me device, often viewed by more than one person making the use of headphones for movies, music, keynote presentations, sales presentations and photo slide shows impractical. Louder and better sounding speakers would definitely add to the iPad’s appeal as a multimedia device. I’d rate the odds of better speakers on the new iPad at 90%.
SD Card Slot: Like most Apple devices there’s always a work around and original iPad owners who required an SD card reader to download photographs from digital cameras had to use an accessory called an iPad Camera connector kit. This device plugged into the 30 pin dock connector and allowed uploading of pics via SD card. Apple includes SD card readers on all its Macbook’s and recently on it’s new 13” Macbook Air so there’s speculation that Apple will include a built in SD card slot on the New iPad 2. Will this happen is anybody’s guess by I’d give it a 50/50 shot.
USB: Rumours about an external USB port on the new iPad 2 have been reported and some say the inclusion of USB ports on the new 11” and 13” Macbook Air’s are a good sign that Apple want’s to include USB on all it’s devices moving forward. This rumour is probably just wishful thinking and the likelihood of seeing USB on the iPad 2 is less than 30%.
Dual Core Processor in the iPad 2: It’s been widely rumoured that the new iPhone 5 coming out this summer will be powered by two 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 cores to compete against dual core Android phones. If the iPhone 5 is going to have dual core processors, it makes perfect sense to add the same computing power to the iPad 2 in order to provide greater multitasking capabilities and consistency for all new iOS devices. The odds of seeing dual core processors in the iPad 2 are greater than 80%.
Gyroscope – this is a no brainier, already available on the iPhone devices it’s pretty safe to say than there’s a 90% shot that the new iPad 2 will have a built in gyroscope and be able to take advantage of the apps that use that feature.
There are several other rumours for the new iPad 2 most notably that Apple will release two versions of the iPad 2 a 7” and 10” version. While many other tablet manufacturers have released or are developing a 7” tablet don’t look to see one with an Apple Logo on it.
Another rumour is that the iPad 2 will have a matte screen, once again the odds of this happening remote, all Apple devices from the iPhone to the iMac all have glossy screens so don’t expect Apple to deviate from that.
While no press conference or official announcement for the iPad 2 is forthcoming I anticipate we’ll see Apple announce the new iPad 2 sometime in early March with an April release date.