It's been nearly a year since Apple first introduced us to the iPad. The device's January launch, combined with Apple's penchant for launching product refreshes exactly once very year, leads us to believe that iPad 2 can't be too far off.
Lending credence to our line of thinking is the iPad 2 rumor mill, which is chugging along nicely at this point. We've already heard reports of a second generation iPad decked out with at least one camera, if not two, and considering everyone was a little disappointed the first iteration of the iPad didn't have a camera, this is kind of a no-brainer.
Shedding just a smidge more light on the iPad 2 are these cases from Chinese manufacturers. They feature a headphone jack, a space for a camera to peep out, and what could possibly be a slit for an SD slot on the bottom of the device. Also featured is a gap for a dock connector, which shoots down rumors that the iPad 2 would have two dock connectors (one each for horizontal and vertical docking).
Reuters has also heard from several sources that the device will feature a front facing camera, presumably for video calling (or "Face Time" as Apple calls it), and a rear-mounted camera for recording images.
Though sources couldn't give anything more specific when it came to a shipping date, two of them said that it looked like Wintek, Simplo, and AVY were gearing up for a new round of Q1 2011 production for components previously supplied for the original iPad. Two more sources said they knew the ramp-up was for a new version of the iPad.