iPad 2: Mockups, delays, and never-ending nonsense

iPad 2: Mockups, delays, and never-ending nonsense

Even though Apple has now announced the iPad 2 event for next Wednesday, March 2, there are still tons of rumors floating around, from the interesting to the absurd.

Japanese iPad blog ilab.cc claims to have a newer mockup of iPad 2 (see above) that shows the speaker grill now all dotted up, and the casing even thinner than ever. 9to5Mac also hears that it may be ready to ship as soon as late March.

iLounge, however, is rumoring that what we'll see next week is really more of an iPad 1.5. Their sources -- which they themselves don't seem to believe -- say there may indeed have been some production problems resulting in a more modest update than Apple originally intended. Even the modest update may be delayed until June, and the iPad 3 (originally iPad 2) following on in September as Daring Fireball previously conjectured.

And yes, it's all beyond the point of nonsense now. Apple rolls deep. iPhone 4 was a huge update and reportedly there was a more conservative "backup plan" if it didn't pan out. However, the key feature of an iPad 3 -- the Retina Display -- doesn't seem like something any company, even Apple, could have ready by the spring. So what else could cause a "backup plan" fallback?

My guess is that the iPad 2 we'll see next week is the one Apple intended us to see and it'll ship in late March early April in the US, with international to roll out thereafter -- just like last year. An iPod touch 4-style, not iPone 4 style update, with much better internals and a camera, it'll make a good thing better. Whether or not iPad 3 follows in September or April 2012 we'll have to wait and see.

We're less than a week away, what do you think?

[ilab.cc via 9to5mac, iLounge]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

iPad 2: Mockups, delays, and never-ending nonsense


I think that if I spend $600 on iPad "1.5" and then a true iPad "2" comes out five months later, I will be very, very angry.

i completely agree... even when apple gave us the 1.5 upgrade to iPhone 3GS, they still waited a full year to release the iPhone 4. to slap the consumer in the face by releasing a better product about 6 months later, is generally not something Apple has historically done. the iDevices are good for a year, and the computers typically last about 2-2.5 before upgrades.

Apple typically designs each model three years before it actually ships. You know that Apple planned the iPad 1 around the iPad 2. Like, in a previous post, the editor was saying how the iPad 1 felt hollow near the bulge. Apple knew four years ago, when they started the designs for the current iPad, that when it released the iPhone 4 with retina display, the people would want/expect the next iPad (iPad 2) to also have doubled resolution. And, they also knew it would require much more processing power. So, they designed the iPad 1 thicker than they could really make it, so Apple would still be able to say the iPad 2 is "the thinnest iPad ever" and also bump up the insides to retina capacity. Apple didn't just wing it and release the iPad 1 and then say, "Okay, now let's plan the next one. Oops, we have a problem."

I think iPad3 will be a new model not a replacement called iPad Pro. I think iPad2 will remain as a current model for one year. I think iPad Pro will cost more, have more memory, and have a higher res display. I don't see how they can do the high res display and keep the cost at the current levels. I think the iPad Pro will also have the same type of memory as the MacBook Air.

rumors and comments everwhere.... and all different
we are talking about apple and it's product... do all people think that apple is a small or simple firm...? what they did until now were good planed and dont forget that it's a marketting issue... maybe they solved to retine display on ipad but how they get money? to give all things at the same time... sure all this things must be planned years ago and with the tech development thay try different alternatives... smaller ipad etc... at the end thay do it for the money and i beleive that even people say ipad 1.5 or something it will be hit the markets min. 1 year...

I'm going with retina screen. It really doesn't fit Apple's "upgrade as marketing calls for it" mode, but I think Apple wants to nail this market before the rest have a chance to make big dents.
Although i could see them grabbing some sales with a camera version in March and also releasing a retina version in the fall at a higher tier price.

All I can tell you is this: if it doesn't have at least a dual core processor, 1GB RAM and a higher resolution screen, I'm jumping to Android.

All I need is more ram. Besides that, it's already a good unit.
Have you ever used android? You'll regret it. Crashes, bugs, and complicated, OH MY! The "freedom" comes at a large price. Be happy with what works.

But Android remains relevant longer than Apple. I can go thru three ipod techs, ipad and iPhone before I have to update my Droid

Wait what? Did you just say Android is more relevant than iOS? I'm just trying to understand why you'd say this?

Jason, I may be right there with you. I have held of on any tablet until now, and the fact is that Apple better put an A5 Cortex 9 dual core in it and for me at least 512 Mb like the iPhone 4 which would double the execution RAM that is in the current iPad. iOS is getting heavier with every release and those specks are needed. It would also be nice to have the storage entry point to be 32GB.

I agree with Cory, if they released a iPad 3 in September that was better then the iPad 2 and cost roughly the same, I would be very angry and disappointed with Apple. I would rather they wait and release the best iPad they can (even if they had to wait till September) then for them to release two iPads within the same year.
If it's like Gary says, and they release a more expensive iPad Pro, then I don't think I would mind.

I believe the "Pro" theory. In April we'll get the update we all expect (faster, thiner, cameras, better sound) for iPad 1 pricing (or a small bump), and later they introduce hi-res screen, the new I/O and a couple of other goodies starting closer to what Xoom charges - but with a much bigger screen. I will be fine with the Spring version for my needs, and the power users will have what they want too. Maybe Android pads will make a dent in 2012.

The iPad 3 may have a feature that people may want to wait for. They may announce both devices and maybe have the retna one for the fall and the regular one for now.

NO iPad 3 all it that the "iPad 3" is some kind of upper level option like retina display or HSPA + or LTE or maybe even WiMax . I would think that durring the Apple event someone comes out and says that this is the next genration iPad you can bye it soon or you can wait a few months and get the "advanced" one with extra features. No way is Apple going to have a iPad 3 so fast.

why are they messing abaut ipad 2 thwn in sep or oct ipad3 why not do a desent ipad2 ? and next year a ipad 3 and so on thxs milan t.

I'm really excited about the launch next week
I'm eager to see what apple has learned already from the first iPad.
No doubt it'll look beautiful but I'm still a bit sceptical on needing a rear facing camera on a device so biggggggg!
P.s. Little to chance of Apple messing around with the release schedule, unless they come out beforehand and say so. It's the way it is for a reason IMO

learn anything from the ipad 1? More like it will be the same thing with some new dressing and they again will say its magical and revolutionary with a camera on it.

It is what it is. There's no smoke and mirrors. The tech. specs are posted on all of their products, so there isn't a mystery to what you purchase.

I don't know why everyone is so all over the retina display on the iPad. Is there enough power small enough to drive that many pixels?

Yes. It'll be no problem. The MBA can drive a 2560x1600 or 2560x1440 display after all, and that was like 2 years ago. Driving the pixels won't be a problem. There are phone devices on the market today that can drive 1080p, low bit rates, but that's a CODEC, CPU power thing, not that the "mobile" GPU can't drive a display of that resolution.
The biggest power draw in a display is the backlight, and since the display size isn't changing, the increased pixel count will be a small or negligible increase in power draw.
But a 2048x1536 screen isn't coming in iPad 2. Maybe not even iPad 3. The timing for cost, manufacturing capacity, competitive pressures, etc, isn't here yet. Maybe in 2012. But 2011, Apple is perfectly fine with 1024x768. There are bigger fish to fry: lighter weight, non-reflective screen, CPU, GPU, I/O, thinness.