iPad 2 Rumours – A Guide To The Next-Gen iPad
A guide to the very latest iPad 2 rumours and we can realistically expect to see from the next-generation Apple tablet.
There was no hotter gadget in 2010 than the Apple iPad, revolutionising the way we view and interact with mobile computing devices. Its innovative interface and software has created an entire new niche in the technology sector as manufacturers rush to push their own tablets into the market.
With stiff competition and technology that continues to evolve by the day, it’s of little surprise that Apple is already looking to release a next generation iPad in 2011. In fact, many industry insiders began speculation regarding the iPad 2 before the first iPad even reached the UK.
Now with only weeks to go before a release date is unveiled, rumours regarding the iPad 2′s specifications and price are still closely guarded secrets. According to reports, Apple expects the iPad 2 to be in massive demand, having ordered 6 million units to be manufactured per month prior to release.
While nothing has been confirmed, there is still plenty of inspired conjecture to mull over as consumers wait for the much anticipated announcement. The following are a list of potential specifications for the iPad 2, rumoured to be released in April/May of next year.
Global Internet Access
Tech analyst Brian Blair has gone on record as stating that the iPad 2 will make use of both GSM and CDMA networks, making it a truly global device. As of now, CDMA is a proprietary network of Qualcomm, and is the primary mode of connection in North America and Asia. GSM, meanwhile, is the dominant 3G network in the UK as well as the better part of Europe, South Africa, and Australia.
The iPad 2 also features a thinner chassis, made from a single piece of metal with no pins. This requires an entirely revamped manufacturing process, similar to the unibody approach seen in the MacBook.
Camera and Gyroscope
According to Gizmodo, the iPad 2 should be equipped with FaceTime support, which means it will feature a front-facing camera similar to the iPhone 4. However, an image of the iPad 2 case leaked on December 10th suggests the device will also feature a rear-facing camera. BuzzBizzNews has confirmed reports of a twin camera setup as well as a 3-axis gyroscope. An examination of the hardware shows that Apple had been testing gyroscopes for the original iPad but decided against it for logistical reasons.
USB Port and SD Card Slot
Leaked images display the iPad 2 with both an SD card slot and a USB port, which BuzzBizzNews has stated will enable users to upload files to device. On the other hand, most rumours have indicated that Apple hopes to move towards a completely wireless platform – communicating, printing, and streaming media and images without the use of a USB connection.
The port may simply be an atavistic compromise for users who still make use of USB flash drives and devices, or as TechRadar suggests, the port is for an adapter so that the iPad complies with EU regulations on mobile device chargers.
One of the more prevalent complaints regarding the original iPad was the quality of the screen. The iPad 2 hopes to rectify this with a higher resolution display similar to the Retina Display featured on the iPhone 4. However, an increase in resolution will also put more stress on the processor and overall battery life, and it’s possible that the iPad 2 will seek a compromise with its display screen in either resolution or size.
Some reports have the iPad 2 being marketed with a 7-inch Retina Display screen similar to the tablets sold by Apple’s competitors. iLounge has stated that an even smaller, 5.6 inch prototype is in development, but this seems unlikely given the iPhone and iPod touch already serve these markets.
The concept of a 7-inch iPad 2 took another shot in November, when reports stated that Apple has already begun shooting commercials for the iPad 2 using an original iPad. While the old iPads will be digitally replaced when the commercials air, it is much more difficult to do so if the devices are of different sizes.
Upgraded Processor and Memory
Nevertheless, rumours regarding the diminished size of the iPad 2 continue to persist. KitGuru has stated that the iPad 2 will feature a 7-inch display with a 2 GHz processor and a high definition video camera. The processor will likely be similar to ARM’s Cortex A9, the dual-core 1 GHz processor found in the Blackberry PlayBook.
In terms of memory, the iPad 2 should also feature a dramatic upgrade. As it was not designed for multi-tasking, the original iPad only had 256MB of memory. However, since the iOS 4.2 release, iPads are also capable of multi-tasking, and an increase to 512MB or more is a good bet for the iPad 2.
Release Date and Price
With the Blackberry PlayBook set to come out this spring, reports are suggesting that the iPad 2 will probably be released in early 2011 as well. This also parallels the product cycle of the original iPad, which was announced in January and shipped a few months later. Reports indicate that Apple will begin shipping the iPad 2 to warehouses in February, which implies an April or May release.
Unless the iPad 2 is a 7-inch model, there will likely be little difference in price from the original model. Based on the quality of their product and loyalty of their customer base, Apple feels little need to drop their prices in order to compete.