Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet
The internet loves Apple and it loves ill-founded speculation, so
it's hardly surprising that iPad 2 rumours were flying before the first
iPad even reached the UK.
With only weeks to go before its expected unveiling the iPad 2 release date, specs and price are still closely guarded secrets, but that doesn't mean there aren't some juicy rumours, inspired guesses and possibly even Apple leaks to consider.
Reports suggest Apple is also expecting massive demand for the new device and has ordered six million units per month.
Here's our pick of the top 5 iPad 2G rumours.
iPad 2 specs: a seven-inch screen?
All of Apple's rivals have plumped for 7-inch displays, which means their tablets are lighter than the iPad. Will Apple follow them into seven-inch territory?
iLounge says prototypes exist, while earlier this year DigiTimes predicted not just a seven-inch iPad 2, but a 5.6-inch iPad 2. Apparently the smaller iPads would target ebooks while the current iPad would target multimedia entertainment, "sources stated". We're doubtful. Apple already does a mini-iPad with a retina display. It's the iPod touch.
The idea of a smaller iPad 2 took another knock in November, when 9to5Mac reported that the iPad 2 adverts have already been shot - with current-generation iPads playing the role of iPad 2s. The iPad 2s will be digitally added nearer the time, and of course that's much harder to do if the iPad 2 is smaller than the iPads the actors are actually holding.
The iPad 2 release date is probably in the Spring
Rumours suggested that the iPad 2 would be rushed out in time for Christmas, but if that's Apple's plan they're being awfully last-minute about it. Early 2011 seems like a much better bet, and it fits with Apple's annual product cycle: the first iPad was announced in January and shipped in the spring.
On 7 December we reported on rumours that Apple would be shipping iPad 2 units out to warehouses in February 2011. If that date is correct, it suggests an iPad 2 release date of some time around April.
iPad 2 specs: a faster processor
KitGuru "has been hearing rumours from the Far East" that the iPad 2 will be a seven-inch job with a 2GHz processor and an HD video camera. It reckons the processor will be based on ARM's Cortex A9, the 1GHz dual-core processor that you'll find in the BlackBerry PlayBook.
iPad 2 specs: more memory
This is a no-brainer: the iPhone 4 has twice the memory of the iPad (512MB compared to 256MB), largely because the iPhone does multitasking. Since the iOS 4.2 release, iPads do multitasking too. 256MB already seems a little bit stingy.
iPad 2 specs: retina display
Will the gorgeous screen from the iPhone 4 make its way to the iPad? The Apple Blog thinks so: "You can be sure that Apple's Retina Display, or something very close, will make its way to iPad".
Then again, such a screen would massively increase the number of pixels, increasing the demands on both the iPad's processor and its battery, so a nine-inch Retina Display is a challenge. If Apple's solved it we'll see you down the Apple Store the second it goes on sale.
Now it's obvious that the iPad has established an identity of its own, so 2011 might be the most opportune time to introduce an addition to the line. The popularity of small e-readers like the Kindle and the mini-sized Samsung Galaxy Tab prove there is a market for a smaller device. Now there are more reports from supply chain sources claiming that Apple is developing a device that is "about half the size of the current tablet computer, and will include front- and back-mounted cameras."
So there are a bunch of rumors pointing towards Apple unveiling a pair of new iPads for 2011-but none of them are from Apple. Steve Jobs has scoffed at the idea of a mini-iPad, claiming the screen would be "too small to express the software." Of course, he's changed his mind before. And he's also lied to throw us off the track of new products before they're released.
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