Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Would a Steve Jobs appearance at iPad 2 event be too distracting?

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is considering attending the iPad 2 event on Wednesday, March 2, according to several anonymous sources with knowledge of the situation. The report came via Boomtown, on March 1, the day before the iPad 2 event.

The iPad 2 event is scheduled for March 2 at 10AM PST in San Francisco. Apple will hold the event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, where it has held several past product introductions.

Steve Jobs is currently on medical leave from Apple, with Tim Cook handling day-to-day activities. However, he's been seen at Apple's campus, and an appearance at the iPad 2 event would go a long way to dispelling rumors that the Apple executive has only weeks to live.

At the same time, however, it would detract from the iPad 2 itself, and that's something that has to weigh on Jobs. Much of the attention of attendees would be focused on Jobs rather than the product, as people try to figure out if he is ill or how ill he is.

When Steve Jobs has missed product introductions before, Phil Schiller, Apple's senior VP of worldwide product marketing has hosted the event. It's believed that Schiller is more comfortable with the presentation necessary for a product launch, and that is why he presents rather than COO Tim Cook.

At the same time, Apple could have him come out at the very end, as a sort of "One More Thing" homage to him.

The iPad 2 is expected to be slimmer, sleeker, lighter, perhaps come in white as well as black, and have at least one forward-facing camera for FaceTime support. It will likely have a dual-core CPU, increased RAM, but retain the same screen size and resolution. It's also possible that the iPad 2 will carry Apple and Intel's new Thunderbolt I/O connection technology.

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