Apple is hosting a March 2 media event for the iPad. The presumption is that the event will offer a first glimpse at the next-generation iPad 2.
Apple has issued invites for a March 2 media event centered
on the iPad.
The invite itself features an iOS calendar icon for March 2,
its upper-right corner peeling away to reveal the edge of an iPad. The general
presumption among media and bloggers is that Apple will use this event to
unveil the next-generation iPad, possibly with a thinner body and new hardware such
as a front-facing camera.
Apple's invites began arriving a day after All
Things D reported, based on conversations with unnamed "multiple sources,"
that Apple would unveil the next-generation iPad March 2. The
New York Times also reported that date, but neither publication suggested a
timeframe for the device hitting store shelves.
Current theories suggest the next iPad will be lighter and
slimmer than the original, with the aforementioned front-facing camera, and
more memory. However, sources dispute whether the device will feature a Retina
Display or similar high-resolution screen. "Our sources say Apple has requested
that manufacturers begin work on displays with that resolution for the iPad 3,"
IDC research manager Tom Mainelli told PC World, following a DigiTimes report
that the next iPad would boast a resolution of 2,048 by 1,536.
Apple sold nearly 15 million iPads in 2010, supercharging a
consumer tablet market in which other competitors, including Samsung and
Research In Motion, desperately want a substantial presence. The
next-generation iPad will have to compete with Samsung's Galaxy Tab, RIM's
PlayBook, Motorola's Xoom and Dell's Streak 7, among other devices. While many
of the iPad's rivals use Google Android, both RIM and Hewlett-Packard are
developing tablets with proprietary operating systems.
The question now is whether Apple CEO Steve Jobs will
headline the March 2 event, despite being on
open-ended medical leave for undisclosed health issues. During his absence,
Apple COO Tim Cook is responsible for the company's day-to-day
"I have great confidence that Tim and the rest of the
executive management team will do a terrific job executing the exciting plans
we have in place for 2011," Jobs wrote in a Jan. 17 e-mail announcing his
departure. "I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can."
took the stage at New York City's Time Warner Center Jan. 11 to help unveil
the Verizon iPhone, suggesting he is more than capable of doing the same for
Apple's next great tablet hope. The question is whether Jobs, recently
seen dining with President Obama, will feel the urge (and healthy enough)
to handle such a momentous event in person.
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.