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Last minute iPad 2 mockups, specs... maybe

With only hours aways from the official iPad 2 announcement, mockups of the new device showed up in China. It features a slimmer profile with tapered edges and a flat back, rear and front facing cameras, and bigger speaker. The power button and headphone jack are sloped much like on an iPod touch. The 3G antenna has a white cover, but it's expected to be black on the final units.

The digits on the back of the device and the model number is one for the original Apple TV while the FCC ID is for a WiFi-only iPad, but those could be mere placeholders on what is, once again, a mockup and not a real working tablet.

Also, iPad 2 has been spotted on Amazon Germany with a list of specs and availability date of March 17. The listing claims that the iPad 2 will have a camera, Thunderbolt, and a 1.2 GHz CPU.

What do you think? Real, fake, or really fake? Only a couple more hours until we know!

More images after the break!

[Engadget, your daily apple]

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Apple Store Down in advanced of iPad 2 event

Wow, still 3 hours to go before the iPad 2 event and the Apple Online Store is already down? The chances of iPad 2 being available to buy following the event are slim but could pre-orders start as soon as today? Could something else be getting an update? (No white iPhone 4 rumors, please!) Or is this just the worst scheduled maintenance window ever?

[Thanks Alexander!]

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Random House publications now available on iBooks

As rumored, it looks like Random House -- the last big publisher hold-out -- now has books available in Apple's iBooks library. Or as Chad put it when he woke us all up at the crack of dawn this morning:

Born to Run from Christopher McDougall and Tim Ferris's books can now be downloaded!!! Whoot!

Is this part of the iPad 2 event announcement later today? Seems a bit of a coincidence timing wise if not... Either way, anyone want to recommend some other good Random House books to check out?

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New and updated iPhone and iPad apps for Wednesday, March 2

Every day, TiPb gets flooded with announcements for new and updated iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad apps and games. So every day we pick just a few of the most interesting, the most notable, and simply the most awesome to share with you!

  • Gowalla: Update 3.1 allows the ability to check-in and upload a photo at the same time and more! [Free - iTunes link]

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Verizon killing off unlimited data, switching to tiered pricing for iPhone this summer

Verizon CFO Fran Shammo told investors today that Verizon Wireless will be moving to tiered data plans as early as this summer, no longer offering the unlimited data plan Verizon iPhone users have enjoyed since Apple's smartphone came to the network last month.

Verizon Communications Inc. will stop offering unlimited data plans for Apple Inc.’s iPhone as soon as this summer and switch to a tiered pricing offering that can generate more revenue and hold the heaviest users in check.

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FAA approves Apple iPad for pilot flight charts

The FAA has given a thumbs up for a flight charter company to begin using the iPad in place of paper flight charts, making it much easier and more efficient for pilots to keep tabs on their flight charts while on the ground and in the air. Wired reports:

The Federal Aviation Administration is allowing charter company Executive Jet Management to use Apple's tablet as an approved alternative to paper charts.

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Steve Jobs considering iPad 2 event appearance?

Kara Swisher from Boom Town claims Steve Jobs is considering making an appearance at the iPad 2 launch event tomorrow:

According to several sources close to the situation, Apple CEO Steve Jobs–who is on a health-related leave from the company–is definitely considering an appearance at its big iPad 2 event tomorrow.

But the possibility–which would be a big sensation at the San Francisco gathering and has been subject to great speculation–is also just as definitely not confirmed as yet, stressed sources.

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No BBC event for iPad 2 -- It's an Apple press event in UK

Following up the story of the BBC holding an event at the same time as the iPad 2 launch, The BBC contacted TiPb and told us that they do not have an event planned for March 2. However, they did confirm that Apple has booked a studio within the BBC Television Center for its own press event.

So can expect some interaction between the US and UK at the launch event? Phil Schiller and Stephen Fry on iPad FaceTime perhaps?

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New and updated iPhone and iPad apps for Tuesday, March 1

Every day, TiPb gets flooded with announcements for new and updated iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad apps and games. So every day we pick just a few of the most interesting, the most notable, and simply the most awesome to share with you!

  • Fight Night Championships: EA Sports lets you go one-on-on with the great ones of boxing and build your own legendary fighter. [$4.99 - iTunes link

  • Smurfs' Village: New cliff expansion and Mining Smurf minigame! [Free, with in-app purchases - iTunes link]

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Will the iPad 2 be available March 9?

We know that the iPad 2 will be announced on Wednesday, what is still up in air the however is when we will be able to get our hands on one? A couple of stories have emerged over the last twenty four hours, which may point to it being with us by March 9.

Firstly, there are reports that Apple has ceased production of the first iPad and global retailers are no longer able to source them. The retailers that 9to5Mac has spoken to said, they only have what is on their shelves and they could be sold out very soon.

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