Apple's iPad 2: the final rumor roundup
Speculation is half the fun of a new product launch, and there's been plenty of it in advance of Apple's big iPad 2 announcement Wednesday. Here's a roundup of the latest rumors the morning of the announcement:
The body: The iPad 2 is likely to be sleeker and slimmer than its predecessor, which weighs in at 1.5 pounds. Apple often cuts weight and depth in newer models. Other rumors suggest the new model will have a thinner bezel, as well.
From here, we get into a lot more speculation. Leaks about new iPad cases from third parties -- not particularly reliable -- have been fueling rumors about what to expect from the exterior of the iPad. Possible features from the rumor grab bag include a bigger speaker, a slot for an SD card, a Thunderbolt input/output port and a landscape docking port.
There is also some speculation that the iPad may go smaller -- as small as 7 inches -- to compete with tablets such as the Galaxy Tab and HTC's planned Flyer. Since Apple chief executive Steve Jobs has made disparaging remarks about smaller tablets, however, this seems extremely unlikely.
The latest rumor, of course, is that the iPad may come in white. The Mac-dedicated Web site 9 to 5 Mac received a picture of what appeared to be an iPad-sized white exterior. Given Apple's trouble producing a white iPhone, it's anyone's guess about how likely a lighter iPad 2 may be.
The camera: Best guesses indicate that the iPad 2 will have at least one camera, if not two. When the iPad came out last April, it was essentially the only tablet on the market, but now it faces a host of competitors. Many of those sport cameras, and Apple would be behind the curve if it didn't integrate a camera (or two) into its latest toy.
With the way Apple has been pushing FaceTime, it seems very likely that the iPad will have video-conferencing capabilities. There have also been indications that the new version of iOS has support for a camera flash.
The screen: What kind of screen will the new iPad have? Though early reports were sure that an iPad 2 would have a fancy retina display like the iPhone, the rumor now is that the new screen won't be significantly different from the current one.
The guts: Most Apple watchers think that the new tablet will have a multi-core A5 processing chip -- that is, a faster, better chip than the first iPad's A4.
Other guesses say that the iPad 2 will have a unified GSM and CDMA model, so that the iPad can run on a variety of 3G networks. Some are hoping for a 4G iPad, as well, though Goldman-Sachs analyst Bill Shope dismissed that possibility in an interview with The Street.
While we're talking chips, another juicy rumor is that this iPad will have near-field technology, which will allow users to do things such as pay for goods by tapping the tablet on an obliging receiver.
The iPad 3?: The biggest rumor coming off of the iPad 2 release is that it may not really be worth buying. (Ah, the gadget-lover's eternal dilemma: Buy now or wait for an upgrade?) Many are guessing that this is a "speed bump" upgrade, as was the iPhone 3GS.
In fact, some are saying that the iPad 3 will be coming out this fall. So enjoy these rumors, enjoy the launch, but know that the next round of rumors is just waiting to kick into high gear.
What do you most want to see from the iPad 2?
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