It’s nearly impossible to keep up with the chatter surrounding the iPad 2. Every day it seems like there’s a new rumor about a new model, a new launch date or even a USB port. It’s a bit overwhelming.
That’s why we decided to scour the web for the most prominent iPad 2 rumors and create a comprehensive guide detailing what we think is likely to be in the next generation of the iPad.
We’ve picked out our top 10 rumors and provided not only our analysis, but the percentage chance a specific iPad 2 rumor will actually come to fruition. We’d bet money on some of these rumors (two cameras), while others will only happen when pigs learn how to fly (the mythical 7-inch iPad).
Without further ado, here is our comprehensive guide to the iPad 2 rumors:
Rumor #1: There Will Be Three Versions of the iPad 2
One of the biggest rumors sweeping the web recently is that there will be three version of the iPad 2. One will be Wi-Fi only, one will support Wi-Fi and UMTS, the 3G technology utilized by AT&T Mobility, and the third model will support Wi-Fi and CDMA, used by Verizon Wireless for its 3G network. In other words, there will be a Verizon iPad.
According to DigiTimes, Apple will be shipping the Wi-Fi, UMTS and CDMA iPad 2 models in a 3:4:3 ratio, specifically because nearly two out of three of current iPad shipments are 3G models. There are currently two models of the iPad, a Wi-Fi version and a Wi-Fi + UMTS version that works exclusively on the AT&T network in the U.S.
This rumor makes total sense: Apple wants to expand the reach of the iPad, and adding a CDMA model for Verizon would complement a Verizon iPhone perfectly. Recently, Verizon started selling the Wi-Fi iPad with the Verizon MiFi 2200. We’re sure Verizon would much rather sell a CDMA iPad instead.
Likelihood of Happening: 85%
Rumor #2: iPad 2 Will Have a Front and Back-Facing Camera
Ever since the iPhone 4 was released, there have been multiple reports claiming that the new iPad will finally come with a front and a back-facing camera.
The primary reason cited for the change from the original iPad is Facetime. In order for Facetime to succeed as a product, Apple needs to flood the market with as many Facetime-capable devices as possible.
We expect Apple to rectify its biggest omission from the original iPad with the next generation model.
Likelihood of Happening: 99%
Rumor #3: Slimmer, Lighter and Retina Display
Earlier this month, Reuters was told by its sources that the new iPad would be slimmer and lighter than its predecessor and would have a “better resolution display than the first iPad.”
Well, duh. Apple always tries to make its products slimmer and lighter. Just look at the iPhone’s evolution or the new MacBook Air for proof. It’s also a no-brainer that the iPad 2 will support Retina Display.
Likelihood of Happening: 99%
Rumor #4: The iPad 2 Will Have a Flat Back
This week there has been buzz about the 2nd generation iPad sporting a flat back after a supposed third party case was leaked to the web.
There’s no way that case is real, and you can take that to the bank. Why? Because Apple never releases the specs for new products to third party accessory makers; they’ve been burned too many times by leaks from third parties to make that type of rookie mistake.
This was completely apparent with the launch of the iPhone 4. There were no third party cases available at launch because none of the manufacturers knew the dimensions of the device. So trust us when we say the supposedly leaked iPad 2 case is total crap.
With that said, we wouldn’t be surprised if Apple did decide to make the back of the device flat. It makes more sense ergonomically. Still, the new iPod touch has a curved back, so it’s anybody’s guess what Apple plans to do.
Likelihood of Happening: 40%
Rumor #5: iPad 2: Now With Wide-Range Speakers?
Another rumor, this one from a Japanese blog, claims that the iPad 2 will not only have a thinner bezel, but that it will have a wide-range speaker covered with a metal mesh that will have far greater speaker capabilities.
This rumor kind of makes sense, given that there’s a greater need for the device to project sound. The iPad is a family device, and in order for a family to enjoy a movie together on the iPad, it needs to have decent speakers. We expect an upgraded speaker.
Still, we agree with Engadget: the source has no track record and should be taken with a grain of salt. It won’t look like Mac Otakara’s CG render.
Likelihood of Happening: 50%
Rumor #6: The iPad 2 Will Have a USB Port
This rumor, courtesy of the Chinese publication Economic Daily News, claims Apple’s new tablet will have a USB port so it can connect to other devices. This would be a huge development because it would allow for the easy movement of files and information from USB drives and peripherals like printers or mice.
Unlike some of the other rumor sources on this list, Economic Daily News has a good track record. As PC World points out, it was the first one to figure out that Apple was building a tablet, not a netbook. DigiTimeshas also reported that the next generation iPad will sport a USB port.
Frankly, we’re not sure how much truth there is to this one, but it could happen. We just wouldn’t put our money on it.
Likelihood of Happening: 33%
Rumor #7: The iPad 2 Will Have a Dual-Core CPU
An analyst for Rodman & Renshaw made a stir just before Christmas by saying that the next generation iPad and iPhone will utilize a dual-core processor powered by two 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 cores.
A dual-core processor would give the iPad 2 and iPhone 5 far greater multitasking capabilities and would be a significant development in mobile technology.
The iPad 2 wouldn’t be the first mobile device to utilize a dual-core, though. That honor goes to the LG Optimus 2X Android smartphone. Do you really think Apple’s going to let Android beat them? No way.
Likelihood of Happening: 75%
Rumor #8: Non-Smudge Screen & Gyroscope
We won’t dive into these rumors too much, but suffice it to say, a screen that smudges less and an iPad that supports gyroscope functionality and apps just makes sense.
Likelihood of Happening: 90%
Rumor #9: A 7-Inch Version of the iPad?
We’ve heard multiple rumors claiming that Apple is not only building a 9.7-inch version of the iPad 2, but it’s also making a smaller, 7-inch model. The thinking is that a smaller model would be cheaper and more useful in certain situations.
Well, forget it. In an epic rant during Apple’s most recent earnings call, Steve Jobs himself shot down the possibility of a 7-inch iPad. The reason, he said, was that there simply wasn’t enough screen real estate for creating great tablet apps.
“While one could increase the resolution of the display to make up for some of the difference, it is meaningless unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of their present size,” Jobs said during the earnings call.
In other words, the 7-inch iPad isn’t happening.
Likelihood of Happening: 2%
The Big Question: When Will the iPad 2 Launch?
Cameras, Facetime, a new speaker and a dual-core processor are all great potential additions to the iPad, but what we really want to know is when we will have one of the next generation iPads in our hands.
Nobody can seem to agree when it will launch. We’ve heard that the new iPads are coming in January (exactly a year after the original iPad’s launch), but we’ve also heard March and April.
The release date of the iPad likely depends on the launch date of the Verizon iPhone. Apple is unlikely to launch the iPad 2 and the Verizon iPhone at the same event, so if the Verizon iPhone comes out in March, we expect the iPad 2 in January, and if the Verizon iPhone arrives in January, then don’t expect the iPad 2 until March.
If we had to venture a guess, we’d say the new iPad will come out of the shadows in March, but it’s li
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