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iPad 2 rumors point to February or March reveal

Apple’s exceedingly popular iPad tablet celebrated the one-year anniversary of its initial announcement on January 27. Given the company’s typical strategy of releasing a generational step forward for its devices each year, an iPad 2 announcement should be coming any day now, especially with rumblings in the tech industry hinting at the updated tablet’s features having picked up over the past few weeks.

Japanese blog — a previous breaker of reliable Apple news — reported on Saturday that the company is planning a “small event” for sometime in March, as translated by AppleInsider. A further update from Gizmodo reveals that the translation may in fact point to a February reveal.

Whether it’s this month or next, the iPad 2 announcement seems to be imminent. Rumors of the second-generation tablet’s features have been on high gear since November, when it was hinted that the next model would feature front- and rear-facing cameras as well as a GSM-CDMA chip, which would allow the device to access wireless Internet offerings from a range of mobile service providers. Other rumors have pointed to a new form factor and wide-range speakers, a new smudge-proof screen, an absence of buttons, doubled resolution and a dual-core CPU, and built-in near-field communication technology, which would allow the second-gen iPad (and presumably the next iPhones as well) to function as a sort of digital wallet for in-store purchases.

A report last week offered a look at what is believed to be the iPad 2’s new screen which, it should be noted, does not feature the high-definition Retina Display technology that was introduced with the iPhone 4. The 9.7-inch display offers a resolution of 1024 x 768, an upgrade over the original iPad but not the much higher 2048 x 1546 resolution suggested in an earlier rumor. So for all that’s been purportedly revealed about the next-gen iPad, you can see that the facts are going to have to wait. With a February or March announcement supposedly in the offing, it’s looking like that wait won’t be too much longer.

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