Is The iPad 2 Coming Sooner Than We Thought?

By James Mowery

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The iPad has enjoyed its colossal success for the past few months since it has taken the world by storm, but it is getting to that point in time where the future meets the present once again. And now we are learning that the iPad 2 is coming. It is reportedly already going through production phases as we speak. So, now it is only a question of when the iPad 2 will be available to the public.

It might be sooner than we thought, at least according to The Wall Street Journal, which has a great track record with issues of Apple leaks and product releases. They have posted an article stating that the iPad 2 is in production right now. Unfortunately, the article itself is light on details about the production, but there there are, however, plenty of details about the features being included with the iPad 2.

It appears that, overall, the iPad 2 is going to be a relatively minor upgrade.

iPad 2 Details

The Wall Street Journal’s sources, who are “familiar with the matter,” have stated that the new iPad will be both “thinner and lighter” than the previous model. This makes sense and coincides with earlier reports about a newer, thinner display for the iPad. Making the iPad 2 lighter was probably a top priority for Apple, so it is no shock to learn that this could be a reality.

There will be “at least one camera on the front of the device,” according to the Wall Street Journal’s sources. This camera will likely be used for things like video conferencing. I, for one, am glad to see that this is being included. It could also be a huge contribution to the growth and usage of FaceTime.

Unfortunately, there was no mention of a second camera being placed on the back. This would, at least personally, be very disappointing if there isn’t dual cameras on the iPad 2. Even more so when Apple has been touting the device as one great for creatives.

The iPad 2 will feature “more memory and a more powerful graphics processor.” This is to be expected, and it ties in with earlier reports mentioning improved performance. I expect that the new iPad will have 512 MB RAM, for zippier performance, and a faster GPU, which will offer better video graphics performance. However, it was not stated in the Wall Street Journal’s investigation whether or not the iPad 2 will have a better primary processor or have if it will multiple cores, which was previously reported as being an improvement to the new iPad.

The report also confirms what has been reported earlier about the iPad 2’s display resolution remaining the same as before. “The resolution of the display will be similar to the first iPad,” the sources stated. This also coincides with reports that mentioned that resolution will remain the same. The report, however, does not mention whether or not the iPad 2’s display will receive any other improvements like the ones previously reported, which included a better screen for readability of text.

And while the details were short about the production of the iPad 2 itself, the sources reported that the iPad 2 will be available through Verizon Wireless and AT&T. The sources also stated that Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA will not be serving the iPad 2, at least initially, here in the States.

Apple, as expected, declined to comment on the matter.

Reaction

So what does this mean for Apple? It means that they are pushing ahead without their leader. Tim Cook is going to have the opportunity to oversee the production and (most likely) distribution of the iPad 2, which will be one of his toughest challenges at Apple yet.

What else is apparent is Apple’s confidence that only minor upgrades to the new iPad are necessary to stimulate more purchases and growth. They are making basic improvements to the innards and and to the exterior. The company also isn’t increasing the screen resolution or implementing the fabled Retina display.

This is interesting, however, because Apple is expected to make drastic changes with the iPhone 5 this year, yet they are content with only making rudimentary upgrades with the iPad. This leads me to the conclusion that Apple intends on making significant upgrades to each device on a bi-yearly basis, with the iPhone/iPod Touch receiving major upgrades one year and the iPad receiving major upgrades the following year. That would make great business sense. It is also very clever of Apple — it would give consumers a motive for splurging on at least one Apple product every year. Clever, indeed.

We still don’t, unfortunately, know how much the iPad 2 will cost or when it will be available. But we will let you know the moment we hear anything.

About James Mowery
James Mowery is a passionate technology journalist, entrepreneur, and Apple enthusiast who has written for various top-tier publications like Mashable, Techi, and CMSWire. Follow him on Twitter: @JMowery.

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