We’re all busy buzzing about the iPad 2 and the possible specs that could come with the second Apple tablet, however, it seems the folks at Apple might already be thinking iPad 3.
Yesterday was all about HP and its tablet and phone announcements, but, of course, comparisons to other, similar devices were a big part of the day too. In the day since HP unveiled its TouchPad tablet, there has been discussions about the specs and how they compare to that of the iPad and the as-yet-unannounced iPad 2. However, a little something Daring Fireball’s John Gruber came out with has everyone wondering if the iPad 2 is really all Apple has planned for its tablet line this year.
While discussing what he believed to be a shortsighted decision to not launch the TouchPad until the summertime, Gruber said HP was running the risk of accidentally bumping up against the release of the iPad 3.
“Summer feels like a long time away. If my theory is right, they’re not only going to be months behind the iPad 2, but if they slip until late summer, they might bump up against the release of the iPad 3. And not only did they announce this with a distant ship date, they did it with no word on pricing,” Gruber wrote.
Though Gruber could easily have meant, “That will only give them a few months until the presumed launch of iPad 3 Spring 2012,” TechCrunch is fuelling speculation with information it recently received from a source.
“A few days ago, we heard from a very good source that Apple was assembling the pieces for a “big fall surprise”. While intriguing, that could obviously mean anything. But the “surprise” part clearly means it’s something beyond the regular iPod/iTunes (and perhaps MacBook Air) refreshes that Apple does in the fall,” writes MG Siegler, adding that today, new information dictates that this fall surprise is related to a supposed iPad 3.
It might seem strange or excessive (or strangely excessive) to launch two versions of the same product in the one year, but you’d do well to remember who we’re talking about here. Apple refreshes its products once a year already. It’s likely iPad 2 will be a follow on from iPad 1, adding features everyone thought the original would have anyway (like a camera), and iPad 2 might be a real, proper refresh of the product. We’ll have to wait and see if we’re right, but it certainly seems like the most logical explanation. CNet seems to think we'll see a smaller, 7-inch iPad Mini in the fall. Such a device might attract those put off by the size of the current iPad and stayed away from the iPad as a result. If this turns out to be true, Apple could actually have two iPad launches in one year without cannibalizing its own sales.