Apple Moving iPad 3 Release Date to Fall 2011?

Most of the rumors we hear lately revolve around the upcoming release of the iPad 2. Now it seems that Apple may have a plan in the works to accelerate the iPad release schedule starting with a third generation tablet this fall. A pre-holiday release for the iPad 3 would align the device with the current iPod touch annual refresh.

Apple iPad 3 Fall 2011 holiday release

Speculation and inside information from multiple sources including TechCrunch and Daring Fireball point to Apple's release schedule changing to insure competitors to the iPad don't have any time to gain a foothold in the market. The Wall Street Journal has confirmed the iPad 2 is already in production at Foxconn, although an announcement of the updated hardware has yet to arrive.

Apple to Announce iPad 2 and iOS 4.3 Next Week?

We all know how Apple loves to stage special media events surrounding its products. Although this one sits squarely in the rumor department, reports that Apple will show off features of the upcoming iOS 4.3 release next week, followed by a reveal of the next generation iPad.

Apple iPad 2 event launch iOS 4.3 features

Of course, this is not outside the realm of possibility. In 2010 the original iPad was already old news by the time February came, and Apple is intent on releasing an update to its tablet to stave off the competition. January was completely overshadowed by another Apple product, the Verizon iPhone 4.

iPad 2 Screen Parts Reveal Slimmer Design

9to5mac reports that a next generation iPad 2 LCD screen has surfaced revealing an updated design with a slimmer profile. The replacement part is marked DVT, which means Design Verification Test, meaning the screen is just one step away from production.

iPad 2 screen parts revealed

When compared to an existing original iPad screen, the new model from China is higher quality, with a narrower frame. Although the iPad 2 screen is the same height and width, this new model is one millimeter thinner and weighs less.

iPad 2 SD Card Slot Not Likely

More information has surfaced surrounding a built-in SD card slot on the upcoming iPad 2. According to an AppleInsider report, the rumors of an SD card are unfounded. Photos of pre-release cases have been floating around for some time now, and various interpretations have been made of each case design.

Apple iPad 2 SD card SIM card

Pictured here is the a breakdown, indicating the slot that was previously thought to be an SD card slot. This space is more likely to be a relocated SIM card slot. Apple's move to offer SD card slots on recent model MacBook Pros helped to fuel the rumor. Sources tell AppleInsider this will not be the case on the iPad 2.

Apple Waiting for iPad 3 to Improve Screen Resolution?

Want an iPad 2 with a sharp Retina display? Not so fast. First of all, an actual Retina display matching the iPhone 4 resolution won't happen now due to technical reasons. Nevertheless, Apple seems to be planning an improvement in the iPad screen, but when?

Apple iPad 2 retina display

Previous reports had cited files in the iOS 4.3 developer beta firmware that were designed for an iPad 2 screen with quadruple the resolution of the current iPad model. 2048 x 1536 pixels would be the size, enough for a formidable pixel density of 260ppi on the iPad's 9.7 inch screen.

iPad 2 Pricing and SKUs Leaked by Best Buy?

Three listings in Best Buy's online and internal store databases were discovered showing new iPad model SKUs and pricing for unknown products that are coming soon. The listings pictured below have since been removed from both the internal database and the Best Buy website.

Possible iPad 2 SKU leaks from Best Buy

Pricing and SKU numbers don't match up with current iPad models in the store. For example, the $699.99 64GB iPad has an SKU number of 9811424, while one mystery "unreleased product" with the same price is identified as SKU 1945674. All three of the new SKUs are labeled APPLE IPAD SKU WIFI.

Verizon iPad (No MiFi) Coming Soon!

Great news is here for those interested in using an iPad on the Verizon network. Apple is producing iPads with components that will make it possible to use these devices directly on Verizon's cellular data network. In a clear sign that no exclusive iPad deal with AT&T exists, Verizon Communications CFO Francis Shammo told Bloomberg the Verizon iPad was coming soon.

Apple iPad Verizon network CDMA

No timeframe or pricing was given, however the iPhone 4 is scheduled to arrive on Verizon's network as early as February 3. Also unclear is whether or not the Verizon iPad will use the company's current CDMA network or launch with LTE capability.

iPad 2 Announcement Coming February 1st?

It's safe to say Digg founder Kevin Rose has a few contacts in the tech industry. One reliable source tells him the iPad 2 will be revealed by Apple in the next three to four weeks. A special iPad 2 event may even take place on Tuesday, February 1, 2011.

another Apple iPad 2 CES 2011 mockup

Next generation iPad mock-ups like the one pictured above have been floating around at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Several iPad 2 case photos and other leaks have given iPad watchers a pretty good idea of what to expect.

iPad 2 Mock-up Featured at CES by Case Manufacturer

Apple may not officially be at CES 2011, but a model of the next generation iPad made an appearance anyway. iPad case manufacturer Dexim featured the aluminum iPad 2 mock-up as it was showing off iPad 2 cases.

Apple iPad 2 CES mockup and case

Although the exact dimensions of the iPad 2 can't be verified, the mock-up appeared to match several recent leaks and photos of iPad 2 cases. Apple's next generation tablet is widely expected to feature a flat back, beveled sides like the iPod touch, and a thinner profile.

iPad 2 Form Factor Revealed by Leaked Images

More evidence now points to a next generation iPad that sports tapered edges, a contoured back with camera, and slimmer profile. The current model iPod touch looks to be an inspiration for the iPad design update as leaked case images reveal.

Apple iPad 2 Pre release case

Not only have several iPad 2 case photos been leaked online, the schematics for a case mold were recently pulled from 9to5 Mac at the request of an unnamed manufacturer. Assuming the case mold drawings are real, they show an updated form factor matching the tapered shape seen in many of the iPad 2 case designs.


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