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?