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Posted at 9:32 AM ET, 03/ 2/2011

Apple's iPad 2: the final rumor roundup

By Hayley Tsukayama

apple_march_2_invite.pngSpeculation 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.

Thumbnail image for whiteheaderipad1-670x502.jpgThe 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?

Related stories:

Apple's next-iPad event

Assessing the latest iPad 2 rumors, hints and

Photo of white iPad exterior surfaces

iPad 2: Will Steve Jobs take the stage?

Apple may unveil iPad 2 on March 2 in San Francisco

By Hayley Tsukayama  | March 2, 2011; 9:32 AM ET
Categories:  Apple, Gadgets, Tablets  
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Next: Report: RIM's PlayBook to launch April 10?

Comments has been eerily, uncharacteristically silent about rumored features since the weekend or earlier. I wonder why?

Posted by: PaulinMaryland | March 2, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

1 minute after I posted my 10:33 comment, MacRumors posted the latest rumors. I had no idea I held such power!

Posted by: PaulinMaryland | March 2, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

The rumors of an iPad 3 coming in the Fall are all based on John Gruber's blog speculating that such a thing might happen. He was clear that he had zero information on the subject and it was just wild speculation. But that doesn't stop people who:

1: Love rumors and don't care if they're true.

2: People who saw it as an opportunity to manipulate Apple's stock price.

3: People who do everything the can to hurt Apple's progress as the leading tech company (not to mention most valuable) so that their chosen tablet might have a better chance of sales.

And what better way to damage sales of the iPad 2 than to get people to wait for an iPad 3 that doesn't exist, and nobody has any reason to think one is coming before next year?

Apple haters are a funny bunch. They have this irrational distaste for the company that they once disparaged is irrelevant as it continues to be the pace setter and innovator in the industry. (Innovation doesn't mean more bullet points listing cool but ultimately unimportant things, it means something more important.)

Posted by: leicaman | March 2, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Look at the Androids (Wi-fi only) Archos 70 (7" @$275) or Archos 101 (10.1" @$300). They are already slimmer & lighter, have a camera, support Flash...

Posted by: jgllo | March 2, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Let's face it - Apple is just growing more and more gigantic, and pushing the envelope more with every new development. The iPad 2 will of course probably live up to speculation; more lightweight, one or even two cameras, NFC chips, all whilst maintaining competitive prices. Sounds like a dream come true? Apple also have to contend with Samsung's Galaxy Tab and Motorola's Zoom tablets which are closing in fast on Apple's iPad. But for those who are considering an iPad for the first time, you may be wondering if you should buy a 1st or 2nd generation one? Or even wait until the 3rd generation? One thing's for sure - nearly everyone wants to be a part of the iPad generation.

Posted by: IUVOMarketingLtd | March 2, 2011 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I'm an iPad fangirl and I must admit I've been an iPad fan since day 1.
Been using it for almost 1 year, enjoying some apps but above all web surfing.
Though I must admit we really need flash support on that, even more than multitasking (ok, I'm over-talking maybe). Can't wait to get the iPad 2 (will give the old one to my better half).
I have seen an online user has released some pictures of the new Apple creature
on this forum and it seems it is getting better, LOL.

Posted by: SarahDean | March 2, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

The iPad2 is great, and i'm special ordering my iPad3 tester version of the iPad2 in Cherry Red.

Yes, the iPad3 will be out for Xmas 2011. It's nice, but I'd rather have the iPad2, thanks.

Don't really need the 3D, don't care enuf about it.

Posted by: WillSeattle | March 2, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

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