We sincerely hope we’re not just spreading an unsubstantiated rumour here, but we just can’t resist: The next Apple iPad will be given its formal unveiling at an event slated for March 2.
Our source is none other that the Wall Street Journal, specifically Kara Swisher reporting for her column Boomtown. In her article she claims the information comes from “multiple sources.” Is this news you can take to the bank? Probably – the tech blogosphere certainly seems to think so. My own “sources” tell me that Apple has been discretely asking tech journalists about their availability and willingness to travel around March 2, and while that’s no proof of a second iPad, it means something is going down.
What are the pundits expecting Apple to announce? Here’s the laundry list of possible enhancements to the world’s favourite tablet:
- A faster processor
- thinner, lighter frame/chassis
- dual cameras (front and rear-facing)
- support for both HSPA+ and CDMA networks in the 3G model
- SD card slot
- built-in video-out capability via a micro DisplayPort or micro HDMI
- higher resolution screen (possibly based on the Retina display technology that Apple debuted in the iPhone 4 and iPod Touch last year)
Personally I think the odds are very good on the cameras as these have become standard on every tablet to emerge since the first iPad. Thinner and lighter would be good bets as well. I would LOVE to see an SD card slot, but I’m on the fence as to whether I think Apple will deliver on this. The least likely feature in my opinion is the higher-resolution screen. It was bad enough that Apple made developers re-code their apps to make them iPad-friendly the first time, and then again on the iPhone 4. Another resolution change will drive them nuts. That said – if Apple does add some kind of built-in video output, it wouldn’t surprise me if they enabled 720p playback via this port. The current iPad is limited to 540p via the dock connector and Apple’s component cable. Here’s hoping that if they do go this route, they use HDMI as the interface and not DisplayPort. DisplayPort is ideal for running external monitors from a laptop or desktop PC, but the iPad isn’t being used for that. It’s a movie, web and YouTube device and as such, it needs a consumer standard for audio and video. regardless how Steve Jobs feels about HDMI – it’s the standard everyone runs at home.
So readers, are you excited by this news? Couldn’t care less? And which features are you hoping for on the next edition of the iPad?
Update, Feb 23, 5:50 p.m.: Well now there’s no doubt is there? Invitations have officially gone out. Here’s the teaser… complete with an iPad reference…