Early whispers of an iPad2 release
by Keris Lahiff
A little over six months ago, the folk at Apple had us all a flutter: our dogs barked at every shadow, our children drained the red cordial and our hearts skipped a beat over the release of Apple’s first tablet computer, the iPad. Now a common concept in mobile computing and data portability, tech analysts say the tech giant is showing signs of letting loose yet another.
Rumours of a second-generation iPad, or iPad2, are growing and analysts and techies alike are already trembling in anticipation on the edge of their seats.
The new version of the iPad has an expected April 2011 release date, coinciding with the one-year anniversary of the first generation iPad and following the annual cycle of new iPhone and iPod models.
Wall Street analyst Brian Marshall of Gleacher & Co recently told tech magazine PC World an April release makes sense from a marketing point of view. A new version of the iPad will further solidify Apple’s strong yearlong dominance in the consumer tech industry.
Marshall predicts it will be roughly the same size and shape but will fill the gaps between the capabilities of the iPhone4 and first generation iPad, including a front- and rear-facing camera to support Apple’s chat software FaceTime and the rumoured inclusion of a USB port.
Brian Blair of technology analyst firm Wedge Partners in New York says the device will carry Qualcomm chips, a new addition that allows internet connection on multiple radio networks, meaning internet access will not be restricted by which carrier the iPad is with.
“They can sell it around the globe without having to worry if it works with one carrier’s network or another carrier’s network,” said Blair.
There’s no doubt Apple has an invested interest in getting the next model out into the market before the other players’ tablet releases. Last quarter, the iPad accounted for 13.7 per cent of Apple’s revenue and was critical in establishing market share of tablet computer technologies. The release of a new iPad would significantly limit the take-up of similar devices made by rivals such as Samsung and Blackberry.
Blair anticipates Apple will sell 48 million iPad units next year.
There has been no official word from Apple yet but knowing them, no doubt there will be plenty of buzz before anything’s set to a presser.
For the meantime, just wait patiently. Like the iPhone4, a careless Apple employee will hopefully drop the prototype in a bar, satiating our curiosity if only temporarily.
Published on: Friday, December 17, 2010