Apple iPad 2 Unveiling Scheduled for March 2: Reports

By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2011-02-22 Print this article Print

Apple will unveil the next-generation iPad on March 2, according to reports. Frenzy over Apple's tablet plans has reached a white-hot level.

Apple could be gearing up to unveil the next-generation iPad March 2, according to an All Things D report. If that holds true, then media invitations should be imminent.

All Things D's Kara Swisher is basing that March 2 date on unnamed "multiple sources." A little later Feb. 22, The New York Times reported that Apple will indeed use March 2 to unveil the next iPad. Neither source offered a date for when the device will hit store shelves, nor whether Apple CEO Steve Jobs-currently out on medical leave-will take the stage for the big unveiling. 

Previous rumors had pegged a March unveiling date for the tablet. In a Feb. 9 posting, Daring Fireball's John Gruber circulated a theory in which Apple whipped the curtain away from the iPad 2 sometime in March, ahead of an early-April shipping window, and then followed that up with an iPad 3 in September.

"How could Apple release a third-generation iPad just six months or so after the second one?" he wrote. "Maybe it won't be an actual next-generation model. Maybe it's more like an iPad 2.5, or iPad 2 Pro."

Despite existing purely as guesswork, Gruber's posting was quickly picked up and circulated by media and blogs. That alone speaks to how white-hot the iPad rumors have become ahead of the device's possible unveiling. Apple's refusal to comment on upcoming products, combined with a steady flow of "leaks" from anonymous sources, regularly drives bloggers and analysts into a frenzy of speculation-which in turn gives Apple untold dollars' worth of free marketing.

Current iPad theories suggest the device will be lighter and smaller than the original, with a front-facing camera for video conferencing, more memory and a boosted graphics processor. Some reports have suggested the device will lack 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, creating a consumer tablet market that other competitors-ranging from Research In Motion to Hewlett-Packard to Samsung-are starting to enter in ever greater numbers. Whenever Apple finally introduces its next-generation iPad, the device will compete with Samsung's Galaxy Tab, RIM's PlayBook, Motorola's Xoom and Dell's Streak 7. Many of these run Google Android, although both RIM and Hewlett-Packard are developing tablets with proprietary operating systems designed to make them stand out from the crowd. 

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.

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