Friday, February 11, 2011

iPad 3 in the fall? Rumors fly before iPad 2 even announced

There is little doubt that there will be an iPad 2 soon, reports are that Apple will double-dip in 2011 and have an early refresh after the iPad 2. There is now much speculation that there might be an iPad 3 this year, as well.

Reports first began with one comment by Daring Fireball's Jon Gruber. Following up on the HP announcement of its webOS tablet, the TouchPad, he said:
“Summer feels like a long time away. If my theory is right, they’re not only going to be months behind the iPad 2, but if they slip until late summer, they might bump up against the release of the iPad 3. And not only did they announce this with a distant ship date, they did it with no word on pricing."
It's thar one line about "bump up against the release of the iPad 3" that has caught a lot of attention. Later, Gruber clarified that he had only been guessing. His "guess" is based on April being too close to the holidays, meaning Apple might want to move the iPad refresh cycle to September. If they did that, however, that would mean a 1 1/2 year refresh cycle between this April (which is assumed to be the iPad 2 refresh launch) and September of 2012. Thus, his supposition that Apple may have a half-year iPad refresh in September, along with their annual iPod line update.

Bolstering the rumor mill is the fact that TechCrunch earlier heard about a "fall surprise" coming from Apple. While they didn't originally know what that meant, they now say they've been tipped it's that aforementioned early iPad refresh.

That would seem to be pretty aggressive for Apple, as that means two hardware updates this year, and they'd have to support CDMA and GSM, with their new Verizon partnership. It's possible, however, as with a tidal wave of Android tablets coming, Apple wants to stay ahead of the curve.

It might also be a result of the so-called "Android effect." The Android Effect, where customers tire of their devices after some six to nine months, has been caused by the rapid-fire releases of Android phones.

Apple's annual refresh cycles have been seen by some as a negative, in the wake of the "Android Effect." Still, before the iPad 3, they really need to announce and release the iPad 2, which we are still waiting for.

Via: TechCrunch, Daring Fireball, Daring Fireball

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