We already know for a fact that Apple will unveil the second-generation iPad next week, on March 2. What remains unclear is when the iPad 2 will actually be available to consumers. Reports have indicated that hangups in the device’s production could cause some delay in the actual release of the new iPad. But Apple Insider sources say the tablet may arrive much faster than anyone expected.
According to “people familiar with the matter,” Apple has begun making preparations for a “large-scale, consumer-oriented product roll out” for the second half of next week. Considering March 2 lands on a Wednesday, that would mean the iPad 2 could be made available to the public almost immediately after it’s official announcement.
As anyone who follows the ebb and flow of tech news knows, this information should be considered rumor until Apple gives its word on the matter. That said, Apple Insider stands by the accuracy of their sources, saying that the people who provided the iPad 2 release information “have consistently provided accurate information regarding Apple’s future product plans and the timing related to those plans.”
The possibility remains, of course, that iPad 2s won’t ship until the end of March, or sometime soon thereafter, as other reports have indicated. But at this point, rumors of a near-immediate release have just as much validity as rumors of a not-so-quick launch.
From what we know so far, the iPad 2 is expected to be slightly slimmer than the first-generation iPad, with a display panel that is 30-35 percent thinner. The displays are said to have the same 1024×768 resolution as the first iPad, but will have a “anti-reflection” technology to reduce glare in high sunlight, and increase the viewing angle. The iPad 2 will also be faster, with twice the on-board RAM (512MB) as the original iPad. It is also expected to have two cameras, one front-facing for FaceTime-run video calls.