Additionally, as Daring Fireball pointed out, Apple rarely (almost never) makes radical design changes of this sort so late in the game, so was it a CYA post, as well? Here's what Engadget said:
The Apple rumors game can be a volatile thing. Just as we'd heard about last minute alterations to the Apple TV before it hit the market, we've gotten word from sources that the iPad 2 slated to be announced next Wednesday will be sans a few of the features we'd previously reported. Notably, that SD card slot and higher resolution display won't make it into the new model (the latter we'd been hearing rumblings about for a little while). What's the cause of the switch? Well our sources weren't crystal clear on the exact reasons, but the gist of what was explained to us centered around vague "engineering issues" which may have forced some changes at the eleventh hour. It's worth noting once again that these sources have been dead right on specific Apple plans and specifications for unannounced products in the past, and we have no reason to believe these changes are due to anything more than legitimate engineering decisions made close to launch.To be honest, we reported on the resolution not changing long ago, and we've been repeating it over and over again. We knew the SD card slot was a faux rumor as well. The point that Daring Fireball picked up on was the "eleventh hour" part. As he said:
Eleventh hour, my ass. Nothing in these regards has changed in the iPad 2 since January. Nothing. There was never going to be a higher resolution display in the iPad 2. I’d wager heavily that there was never going to be an SD card slot for it, either, but I don’t know that. [...]OK, so what Gruber is saying is that this is a little bit of CYA on the part of Engadget. The thing is, everyone loves a rumor, and particularly when the annual refresh of an Apple product is upcoming.
Sometimes things do change the last minute, like the camera that was dropped from the 2009 iPod Touch. That doesn’t mean those of us who reported it weren’t wrong, though. We were wrong, it’s that simple.
[...] in my experience, the Apple rumors game is not all that volatile. The 2009 iPod Touch camera yanking is the exception, not the rule. Most major Apple products are pretty stable two months out from release. What’s volatile is getting accurate information about them.