Apple is calling 2011 the “year of the iPad 2,” after releasing a new iPad yesterday. Apple Insider thinks this means that Apple is proactively squashing rumours that it will release a third iPad sometime this fall.Not so fast.
Who says the fall iPad has to be called the iPad 3? Maybe it will be called the iPad 2 S. Or the iPad 2 HD. Or the iPad 2 Pro. Or the iPad 2 SE (Special Edition). Or the iPad 2 4G LTE. Or the iPad 2.5.
And further, who says Apple has to obey its own marketing messaging? Maybe Apple will just overwrite whatever it says now about 2011 being the “year of the iPad 2.” It’s not like Apple hasn’t ever contradicted itself before. It’s not like normal consumers would know or care.
That’s not to say that Apple will necessarily release another iPad this year. We don’t know.
But no matter what, it still makes a lot of sense for Apple to eventually shift the annual iPad revision to a fall schedule, as they are a big item for holiday gift giving, and it probably would be better for Apple to be selling fresher devices to holiday shoppers than 9-month-old devices. Especially as competitors start to catch up to the iPad.
If it doesn’t happen this year, we still expect it to happen eventually.