On Mar. 2, Apple will take to the stage and reportedly talk about the new iPad 2, the follow-up to the wildly popular iPad. Rumors have been swirling for quite some time about what the iPad 2 will offer. Furthermore, speculation abounds over whether the tablet will be able to live up to the success its predecessor continues to enjoy.
Either way, the Mar. 2 event is sure to feature other big announcements besides the iPad 2. Although the iPad 2 will likely be the focus of the event, it’s quite possible that Apple will touch on other important aspects of its business, including its mobile operating system and the status of its CEO Steve Jobs, who is currently on a medical leave of absence.
By all measure, the iPad 2 event will have several major announcements. Read on to find out what they will likely be.
1. A slimmer iPad 2
It would only make sense for Apple to show off a slimmer iPad 2 at its event March 2. Numerous reports have surfaced saying the company is trying to make its tablet a bit more mobile. One of the best ways to do that is to reduce the bulkiness of the tablet a bit to make it even easier to carry around. A slimmer iPad 2 isn’t all that flashy, but most consumers would probably like to see it.
2. Dual cameras
One of the key drawbacks with the iPad is that it lacks dual cameras. So users can’t snap pictures or engage in video chatting with others. However, its competition, including the Motorola Xoom, which launched last week, does come with two cameras. If Apple wants to be on the same level as the competition-and it should-it must offer dual cameras in the iPad 2.
3. An upgrade to 4G
The Motorola Xoom launched with the ability to connect to Verizon’s 3G network. In addition, the tablet will receive a free upgrade in the near future, allowing customers to connect to Verizon’s 4G network, as well. Although Apple doesn’t support 4G with its Verizon iPhone, it’s quite possible that the company will offer an upgrade to 4G with the iPad 2 just as Motorola did with its Xoom.
4. Huge sales numbers
If there is anything that Apple is good at, it’s talking about how well it’s doing. And it wouldn’t be surprising if the company delivers even more information about the success the iPad enjoyed last year. Apple will likely talk about sales numbers, consumer opinions on the device, and much more. All that will combine to help the company make an even better case that its tablet, in its opinion, is the best option for customers.
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5. A preview of iOS 5
With the launch of Android 3.0 Honeycomb, it’s clear now that iOS 4 just doesn’t do a good enough job on the iPad. Apple’s operating system is great, but it doesn’t come with a full browser, 3D capability and several other key features that make Google’s platform so appealing. Thus it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see Apple talk about iOS 5 and discuss when it will be made available to the iPad 2. At this point, that release looks like it will happen in the summer when the iPhone 5 launches.
6. An update on Steve Jobs
Apple has remained relatively tight-lipped about its future leadership. For now, Steve Jobs is still at the helm and that probably won’t change anytime soon. But Apple might talk a little about Steve Jobs at its Mar. 2 event not only to clear the air on all the rumors surrounding his health, but also to use the platform to quell some unrest among investors. The stage is set for Apple to talk about a lot more than just new products. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone if it uses this event to disclose other news to help its stock price.
7. The same pricing
When Apple finally gets through all the new specifications of the iPad 2, expect the company to announce the same pricing for its device. Improving products and offering them at the same price has been a strategy Apple has followed across several different markets. With the iPad 2, look for the company to offer an improved device for the same price as current models. Not only will it add value to the product, but it will also keep Apple on the same pace as competitors.
8. More storage
Expect Apple to bring more storage to the iPad 2. Apple currently offers 16GB, 32GB and 64GB iPad models. But as more and more applications become available and iTunes content becomes more important to users, it’s clear that the 16GB model won’t cut it any longer. Apple could very well make the 32GB version its baseline and offer up to 128GB of storage when it announces the iPad 2.
9. The end of the MiFi 2200 Hotspot
One of the biggest issues with the iPad is that it doesn’t come with support for Verizon’s 3G network built-in. So if iPad owners want to access the carrier’s network, they need to have another device, like the MiFi 2200 Hotspot, to get on Verizon’s 3G. Expect that to no longer be an issue when the iPad 2 launches and works with both AT&T’s and Verizon’s 3G networks out of the box.
10. Free MobileMe
It might not be iPad 2-related, but Apple could announce that MobileMe, which currently costs customers $99 per year, will be offered for free. MobileMe delivers several important features, including the ability to sync iOS-based devices and the Mac, as well as share content. Recent rumors suggest the service will be offered for free in the near future, and it would only make sense for Apple to announce that at its iPad 2 event.