Yep, that is the latest rumor! The new iPad is said to be coming in February with several improvements that many think should have been there in the first place. But, as often happens with Apple products, I am sure that those who have current iPads will want to run right out and upgrade to the newest version. Those Apple Fanboys (and girls) are dedicated. :). Me? I’ll be sticking with my current one for quite a while.
The iPad 2, as it has unofficially been named, could reportedly be coming to an Apple outlet near you as early as February of next year (although several media outlets are still claiming the official date has been set for April). Unfortunately, it will just miss the mark on the busy holiday buying season this year, but that likely won’t impact sales of the second iteration of iPad, which a lot of technophiles have been holding out for. This news comes from a source in Taiwan that alleges Foxconn (which produces iPhones and iPads) has been put on notice. They must be ready to ship within 100 days and the numbers to be released are estimated in the 400-600 thousand range (not a terribly high number, but when you consider the release is coming after the holiday rush, perhaps they’re just being conservative). Of course, the latest iPad was originally slated to go out in January, but apparently they were pushed back due to the need for further firmware testing. No one wants a buggy iPad, least of all Apple.
Even more important than when the new iPad is shipping, though, is what it will include. Rumors and speculation have been flying since complaints about “missing” components plagued the initial launch earlier this year, most notably the lack of a front-facing webcam for the purpose of video communications through outlets like Skype, or other types of video conferencing. Of course, this feature will be included for sure. Now that Apple has FaceTime up and running (something they didn’t have when the original iPad launched) they have every reason to include a video chat feature on the new iPad (you know, aside from millions of unhappy customers in response to the lack thereof).
Also speculated to have found a home in the new version of the iPad is a mini USB port, the addition of which would open the door to cross-platform connectivity. It would allow users, for example, to upload and download media from other sources, a stance that Apple has not been too keen to support in the past (which is likely why we haven’t yet heard a word on the subject from the horse’s mouth). Other possible additions include a larger screen, more RAM, and a faster processor, but again, this seems to be nothing more than grist for the rumor mill.
One extra that seems likely, however, is the possible presence of a dual mode for users who are interested in a gadget that will run on multiple networks, making for a “world” iPad (in the same vein as world phones that can roam on either CDMA or GSM networks depending on the predominant bandwidth in their geographic location). Since there are currently iPads that run on one network or the other, this not only seems possible, but probable. Supposedly, long-time wireless R&D company Qualcomm will provide the chip that makes the magic happen.
Whatever new features grace the iPad 2, we should know soon enough. Many of the rumors surrounding the latest iteration of this multi-tool appear to be baseless, and mum’s the word where Apple is concerned. But if even half turn out to be true, the bigger and better version of iPad will surely sell like hotcakes, whether the release date hits during the annual spending vacuum that seems to characterize the month of February, or later in the year.