Apple iPad 2 rumours: What can we expect?
iPad 2 release date, specs, price and more we think we know about the 2nd generation iPad
The 'revolutionary' device recently celebrated its first birthday, and in that short space of time has already managed to be crowned T3 Gadget of the Year 2010.
Much as we have lauded over yet another gorgeous piece of Apple tech, we've equally been thinking what could be in store for its successor.
With the iPad successor set to become a reality on March 2nd, we take a look at what the 'reliable' sources and leaked details suggest the iPad 2 could be packing when it officially lands.
Read below for our Apple iPad 2 rumours: What can we expect?
iPad 2 Specs
iPad 2: 7-inch display
A dividing issue for many with the current iPad has been the size of the screen, and whether the 9.7-inch screen is as travel-friendly as something like the Galaxy Tab. Taiwanese component suppliers reportedly informed a Wall Street analyst that a smaller 7-inch display is earmaked for the revamped Apple tablet.
Jobs clearly has a different view on things however having told analysts at Apple’s quarterly conference call on the subject of a 7-inch iPad that, “This size isn’t sufficient to create great tablet apps, in our opinion.” Do you side with the suppliers or Jobs? we know who we would pick...
iPad 2: Home button removed
Apple’s insatiable desire to produce stunningly attractive, ultra sleek gadgets has seen its portable devices limit the use of physical controls, and the recent release of iOS 4.3 to developers suggests that the four and five finger multitouch gesture controls soon to hit the iPad will spell the end of the current home button found on the company’s iOS devices.
Earlier this month, BGR proclaimed: “We just got some pretty wild information from one of our Apple sources and while it’s hard to believe at first, it does make sense.” It added: “We have exclusively been told that the reason Apple just added multitouch gestures for the iPad in the latest iOS 4.3 beta is because the iPad will be losing the home button.”
iPad 2: Front-facing camera and FaceTime
Apple has talked a lot of about FaceTime since it was unveiled at the iPhone 4 launch, and while at the time it was only available for the Apple's latest smartphone, it has since arrived for the new iPod Touch, the new MacBook Air and for desktop Macs.
So is the iPad next up for the FaceTime treatment? Well according to reports from Apple’s suppliers in Asia, the display aspects they are set to provide will be designed around a front facing camera. AppleInsider, has also had word from, 'a person with proven knowledge of Apple’s future product plans' that the camera many hoped the current iPad model would have will be added to the next model bringing FaceTime along with it.
The recent release of iOS 4.3 beta 2 to developers provided our strongest indication yet that a camera is iPad-bound. Icons for Apple’s video calling FaceTime technology, the familiar Camera application and the currently Mac-only PhotoBooth software all point strongly in the direction of the predicted rear-facing camera and video recorder joining a second, lower-res front-facing offering.
But what of the snapping quality? Well to a report from 9to5Mac, we can expect the rear-facing cam on the tablet’s sequel to be a paltry 1-Megapixel quality. Having delved deep into the latest SDK, it seems that the iPad 2 will host the same 0.7-Meg lens as found on the 4th generation iPod Touch. That camera is limited to shots 960 by 720 pixels deep and video at native 720p. Not all that special, given the iPhone 4’s excellent 5-Meg cam. The front camera is also said to be the same as is found on the Touch – a 0.2-Meg VG
iPad 2: Retina display and 128GB storage
The screen technology boasting 800:1 contrast ratio and 960x640p resolution, is currently housed in the smaller surroundings of the iPhone 4, but it could well find itself in the iPad in the not too distant future. The same Taiwanese component suppliers that claim a 7-inch display is one the way for the next iPad, also claims that it will be a high resolution Retina display. Storage capacity is also reported to get ramped up to 128GB while a micro mini USB port will be added on the connectivity front.
Daring Fireball man John Gruber however is does not expect the iPad 2 to have a Retina Display. On Daring Fireball, Gruber said, “I asked around, and according to my sources, it is too good to be true: the iPad 2 does not have a retina display. I believe the iPad 2's display will remain at 1024 × 768. Its display may be improved in other ways - brighter, better power consumption, thinner, perhaps.”
Evidence to further support the argument against a Retina Display also comes courtesy of the new iBooks app for iPad, which contains background graphics with four times the resolution of the standard iPad version. That suggests that resolution could jump from 1024x768 to 2048x1536. Ming-Chi Kuo from Concord Studies in Taiwan also claims that the screen will not use Retina Display tech, instead focusing on anti-reflective features which will make the iPad 2 easier to use out and about.
iPad 2: SD Card slot
A feature which has been much in debate over its possible inclusion in the iPad follow-up, Engadget declared that a ‘trusted’ source close to the matter has confirmed the arrival of the second generation Apple tablet supporting SD card file transfers. Whilst the inclusion of an SD card slot is not quite the USB port addition many of iPad users are probably hoping for, the slimmer form factor that the iPad 2 is set to adopt could have drastically influenced the form of portable media expansion the tablet device is physically capable of supporting.
iPad 2 cases appearing to confirm SD card support, have appeared in recent weeks, but a person AppleInsider trusts on matters such as these,” claims the slot seen on early iPad 2 cases is actually for a SIM card. The source says that the SIM slot is being moved to the top of the iPad from its current position on the left-hand side of the device. This apparently explains why some other cases which have been spotted don’t have the opening, as Wi-Fi only models won’t need it.
iPad 2: Connectivity
Patents are always a good indication for finding out what's on the Apple agenda and one trademark submission that emerged from the Cupertino company to the European Trademarks and Designs Registration Office points to a second 30-pin port. What does this mean for the iPad 2? Well, it could mean that you will be able to dock the tablet device in a horizontal and more traditional workstation position as opposed to the current vertical one.
iPad 2: NFC technology
Near Field Communication and the ability to use your mobile tech like a virtual card look to be high on the agenda for Apple and as well as a string of patents recently filed, News agency Bloomberg has declared that “engineers who are working on hardware for the Apple project” have revealed the Cupertino tech giant will make NFC functionality available to users this April alongside a new mobile payment service.
Add to that the recent appointment Benjamin Vigier, Apple’s new Mobile Commerce Manager who has a track record of NFC projects and all roads seem to lead to NFC-support.
iPad 2 video
Apple is well known for keeping its projects safely under wraps (well, apart from the iPhone 4), but footage taken in the halls of CES earlier this month may have outed the new Apple tablet design. Filmed by accessories retailer GearZap, you can see the alleged iPad 2 video below.
iPad 2 UK price
There's been no talk about how much the Apple iPad 2 could cost, but judging from impressive opening sales, and the 3.27m sales Apple revealed in its quarterly results call, it's unlikely to change greatly. Cheaper tablet alternatives could be an argument for driving the price down but most of the budget iPad rivals we've seen so far struggle to match the iPad for all-round performance. There is also the small matter of Apple's decision to pass the VAT rise onto its customers to take into consideration...
iPad 2 UK release date
While many suggest a Spring 2011 launch is the most likely time to see the iPad 2, the an iPad release date could actually be a lot closer. Could Apple buck the trend and change its usual product announcement cycle, especially with an army of tablets seemingly growing by the week? All we imagine will be revealed in the next week.