What To Expect When Apple Reveals iPad 2


Photo: AP

Here we go!Apple is about to reveal the latest iteration of its hot selling iPad.

Unlike last year, Apple is unlikely to blow our minds with a whole new gadget, rather it’s going to cement its position as the leader in the tablet market.

How will it do that? Read on to find out …

We're probably going to see Phil Schiller reveal iPad 2, not Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is on medical leave, so it's unlikely he's going to be able to give one of his classic keynotes. Instead, we expect to see Phil Schiller who revealed the iPhone 3GS when Steve was out sick last time.

The iPad 2 is definitely getting a front facing camera ... and possibly a rear camera.

Apple is adding a front facing camera according to various reports. This will allow it to further market 'FaceTime' its video chatting software which is surprisingly popular. As for a rear camera, we not sure. It's hard to picture a rear camera on a tablet getting a lot of use, so Apple might hold off to lower cost and complexity. Some people have reported a rear camera is coming, but the well sourced WSJ has yet to confirm.

Apple is going to add a bigger speaker to the back

We've heard a few rumours about a new grill being added to the back of the iPad 2. We believe it's going to be a louder speaker for the iPad.

It will be thinner and lighter

The iPad is light, but it's not light. Maybe it's because the Kindle is so darn light, some people thought the iPad would weigh as much as a feather. It doesn't. But, it appears Apple is trying to change that. Multiple reports say the new iPad will be thinner, and a little bit lighter.

Last year Apple introduced the 'A4' chip with the iPad. This year, it's 'likely' it introduces the next version, which could be called the 'A5,' says Engadget. The A5 will be 'multi-core,' which means it will be quite fast.

Apple might slash the price by 10%!

A Goldman analyst is predicting a 10% wholesale price cut. That would be absolutely devastating for the competition which is already struggling to keep up with Apple on prices. Apple execs have also said they really want to own the tablet market, so they're willing to offer low prices.

There will be no retina display

For a short while there was some debate on this one ... but that's all over now. Expect the same resolution this time. For iPad 3, however, we might get the Retina Display.

The screen will be less reflective, so you can read it on the beach

We've heard about Apple working on a glare resistant screen twice now. Once at DigiTimes citing supply chain sources and once at 9 to 5 Mac, citing a securities analyst. Neither is exactly rock solid, so we're only 60% confident this happens.

Apple is reportedly adding NFC, so the iPad can be a digital wallet

Apple will reportedly add NFC chips to the iPad 2. With NFC chips you can wireless pay for items at stores that support the system. We don't really have that much trouble using credit cards, but this digital wallet idea has had people excited for years. If Apple does it, it could help usher in a new era.

It will be ready to rock on Verizon without a mifi

If you want to use an iPad through Verizon wireless today, you need to use a mifi hotspot. The next iPad should have a chip built into it that is compatible with Verizon's network. So, if you want to use Verizon for 3G, you can.

CRAZY, UNLIKELY FEATURE: Carbon fibre backing

The problem with all the reporting on Apple is that by the time the event comes around, we have a pretty good idea about what we're going to see. There are few surprises left. To keep us on our toes, John Gruber of Daring Fireball said he heard Apple might add a lightweight carbon fibre backing to the iPad to make it weigh less. He cautioned it's mostly speculation, so it's unlikely to happen.

This is just a speed bump upgrade. iPad 3 is supposedly coming in the fall.

Last time Steve Jobs was sick, we got the iPhone 3GS, a tiny upgrade to the iPhone 3G. This time we're getting the iPad2, which is said to be a minor upgrade to the iPad. An iPad 3 is reportedly in the works for the fall.

Why put out an iPad 2 then? Well, competitors are coming after Apple with Android tablets. Apple can't let off the gas.

That said, get ready for long lines

Multiple reports have suggested Apple is having production issues with iPad 2 pumping out a thinner screen. As a result, the initial production line is expected to be thin, causing shortages.

It might come out shortly after the announcement

We haven't seen any firm reports on an actual release date, but some reports suggest the week after the announcement, while still others suggest an April release. We think Apple gets it out in two weeks after the announcement, just because it wants to keep pressure on rivals.

...and while it's not 100% related to iPad 2, get ready for a revamp of MobileMe

We're not sure what's going to happen here, but Apple has been making it harder to sign up for its MobileMe web services, which suggests its about to change the service. Some rumours say we're going to finally see a cloud based storage system allowing us to store music on the web. We're looking forward to it, because Apple is falling behind Google on this front in a big way.

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