So if you’ve been paying attention you would have seen that, despite the usual Apple reticence to say anything about anything, the slimmer, lighter iPad 2, with front-facing camera, is all-but-locked in to ship late-March early-April, according to the Wall Street Journal. An announcement is expected this month.
But you’re reading the headline and shaking your head, right? iPad 3 this year too – getouttahere.
I would have said the same thing – until I had read a story floating through the ether today.
It was from MG Siegler at TechCrunch, and it got me thinking it might not be so much posturing and speculation. It talks about how HP “launched” the webOS TouchPad iPad clone in San Francisco yesterday to much self-generated hullabaloo. Remember how they bought Palm last year? It’s a iPad clone built on the Palm webOS platform called the TouchPad.
But it won’t be out until the northern summer – that’s June/July. I love it when a tech company “launches” a product that you can’t get for four months… That’s cool – we knew that the tablets were/are coming. And don’t forget the Android hordes.
But in the TechCrunch yarn, there was this:
Then Daring Fireball’s John Gruber decided to quickly weigh in. “Summer feels like a long time away. If my theory is right, they’re not only going to be months behind the iPad 2, but if they slip until late summer, they might bump up against the release of the iPad 3. And not only did they announce this with a distant ship date, they did it with no word on pricing,” he wrote on his site.
Yes, iPad three. Around September. What-the?!
Then there was this:
Update: While his reasoning is in some ways the inverse of mine, we arrive at the same conclusion. Gruber thinks the new iPad we may see in the fall will be more of a “iPad 2.5″, whereas my guess was the other way around. He thinks the launch date could have more to do with Apple attempting to move the yearly release schedule of the iPad to be closer to the holiday season … Again, to be clear, my information on this isn’t a guess (though my thoughts as to the reasons why Apple would do this are). Apple’s plan, at least right now, is to release another version of the iPad in the fall.
So these guys are pretty confident.
Three more reasons it makes sense
- Remember back in the day when there were rumours of large Retina displays floating around, and retina display factories opening in China. Well this theory explains that. The new factory was said to be pumping out 17m displays a month when it’s up to speed this year. That gotta be for more than the iPhone.
- As Siegler says, Apple knows it can’t rest on their laurels. I think the Appleites would have done projections on the fact that if they stuck to their current update cycle with the new category of tablet computers, they’d get buried by competitors. Inferior competitors, but not inferior enough. They’ve certainly got the money to kick things up a gear.
- Those seven-inch iPad rumours have been around for well over six months and just won’t die. That could be the “surprise!” for September. Steve Jobs has said in the past that he wasn’t in love with (ahem) the seven-inchers, but he’s backflipped and sprung surprises before. If anyone can make the 7-inch footprint work, it’s the fruity army.