WSJ: Lighter, Thinner iPad 2 (w/Camera) in Production

| Analysis

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is already producing the so-called iPad 2, and that the device will be thinner and lighter, and that it will feature a front-facing camera. Citing unnamed people “familiar with the matter,” the newspaper also said it would be powered by a faster processor, have more memory, and a better graphics processor.

Contradicting earlier reports, however, The Journal specified that the device would feature the same, or a “similar” resolution to the current model, which is 1024 x 768. Taiwan newspaper DigiTimes reported in January that the next iPad version would boast a far higher resolution of 2046 x 1536.

What The Journal did not say is when the device will be announced or shipped. Apple introduced the first iPad in April of 2010, following a late-January introduction, and pundits, analysts, observers, watchers, and armchair quarterbacks have speculated that Apple will rev the device everywhere between as early as last month [Pro Tip: it didn’t happen] all the way up to April.

The latter time frame obviously matches the annual cycle Apple has used for its iPhone line, but there are many mitigating factors. For one thing, Apple has comptetition (of a sort) in the form of Android devices, and Android pressure could well mount with Google nearing the release of Android 3.0, known as Honeycomb, the first version of the OS actually intended for tablets.

Apple could well want to disrupt an Android product cycle by beating its own historical schedule. Then again, Apple could be ramping up production now to make sure it has enough inventory on hand to handle demand on launch, something the company struggled with for months with the first iPad.

In that vein, The Journal confirmed that iPad 2 would be offered by both Verizon and AT&T — both companies currently offer the original iPad — but no other carrier in the U.S. With the added muscle of Verizon’s retail presence at launch for the iPad 2, Apple is likely to need significant quantities of the device to avoid the kind of shortages it struggled with last year.

In the meanwhile, a new iPad in your hand is worth two on a rumor article, even when that article is from The Wall Street Journal.

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Comments

mhikl

Or it might want to let the Honeycomb stick to and burn enough fingers for the word to get out and therefore postpone introduction of the iPad2 a while.

I suspect Apple will boost resolution. Gone are the days when Apple had to premium price and under powered to make the nickel to innovate.

I wouldn’t be surprised if, as suggested by Ron (I think), that the original iPad be continued as a bargain price iPad or even a cheaper iPad2 model without cameras be introduced to meet the needs of the budget minded and to further scarf profits from the angry Android gang. All’s fair in the competition of business and nasty words.

ibuck

I’m ready for lighter and smaller, as Apple has no model between the miniscule 3.5” screen on the iPhone/iPod Touch and the enormously larger 10” iPad. If it’s 7” and <1 pound and <$500, I’ll be there on day one.

Bryan Chaffin

iBuck, I personally do not believe that Apple will a 7” device in the near future, FWIW.

Ref Librarian

Great, my iPad is arriving tomorrow, just in time to be outdated. smile

geoduck

the original iPad be continued as a bargain price iPad

That’s most likely IMO. For Apple it would be cheeper to keep the existing version and discount it rather than developing a whole new model. There’s precedent for this as well with the iPhone where they keep the previous model as the low end and add a new high powered model at the top.

I agree with Bryan. A 7” seems very unlikely.

Bryan Chaffin

Great, my iPad is arriving tomorrow, just in time to be outdated.

Allow me to quote the great, learned Bryan Chaffin: In the meanwhile, a new iPad in your hand is worth two on a rumor article, even when that article is from The Wall Street Journal.

Besides, even if The Journal’s sources are legit (my belief is they are), there’s no reason to believe (yet) the new device will ship before April.

mhikl

For Apple it would be cheeper to keep the existing version and discount it

I thought about that, geoduck. But what if it’s cheaper to do a run of the same everything, nix the camera(s). Of course the casing would be slightly different. (Maybe they could take a page out of M$ styling and make a brown one. grin

But I am so impressed with Apple’s latest pricing of the MacBook Air and the original iPad, I think Apple is turning a new page in pricing. The competition is so far behind in time*, this kind of thinking might be the strategy that strangles their hopes and dreams of catching up.

I’m really not trying to be nasty with my exuberance. Apple took criticism from the pschco-natzi-environmentalists (I’m one) and cleaned up their packaging and manufacturing (re lead, mercury etc). They think, plan and design and don’t just hurl junk at their customers. This, I believe, is the way of enterprise today. Sort of production with conscience.

I was not satisfied with the service and results of repairs to my laptop. It was at the end of its three years Apple plan. I wasn’t happy that it seemed impossible to end my me.com account. I railed and wailed and I was treated like a prince. And told the prob with the Macbook was an inherent prob that would never cost me dime in repair. Ya gotta love ‘em.

Price, support, environment and quality. Steve is getting older and wiser.

* I believe I read Apple was working on the iPad years before the iPhone. How, possibly, can the others catch up in such short time. To design and put out a viable tablet in 9 months? I admire their nerve. I doubt if the product will be much to admire. Look how long it has taken them to develop their smart phones

cb50dc

I personally do not believe that Apple will a 7? device in the near future, FWIW.

Indeed, Steve has clearly expressed his disdain for the 7” screen.

Of course, he also said, “I’m not convinced people want to watch movies on a tiny little screen.”

wink

Bryan Chaffin

That’s a salient poit, cbsofla, and if Apple does release a 7” device, it will be introduced with a “...but we’ve figured out how to do it right.”

In this case, however, I think Jobs’s impassioned case for why the tweener size of 7” results in a terrible interface was an honest comment, and not mere subterfuge.

We’ll see, of course. smile

cb50dc

if Apple does release a 7? device, it will be introduced with a ?...but we?ve figured out how to do it right.?

LOL, yeah, I can envision that. Oh, man, I hope so.

All things considered, if I ever do buy an iPad, I think I’d prefer the 7”.

ibuck

Bryan Chaffin said:I personally do not believe that Apple will a 7? device…[Jobs} also said, ?I?m not convinced people want to watch movies on a tiny little screen.?

As if watching movies is the only real value to an iDevice. And yet, here we all are watching videos on 3.5” iPhone/iPod Touch screens. Apple doesn’t have to call it an iPad, but there’s a hole in their product offerings that someone will fill if Apple doesn’t. Reading, web browsing and email yearn for a larger screen. On a device that’s lighter in weight than the current clunky iPad. Call it a Supertouch, if you will. But the 3.5 inch screens provoke the question “Apple, is this the best you can do?”

mhikl

In line or in a sleeping bag 3.5 is dandy.

But some like to browse, work, type whilst watching a game or movie on the telly. Typing and the knee are the key. Not too comfy with an iPad unless a case with a built in keyboard becomes practical. Therefore, such a user would navigate to the MBA.

For MBA users, the 7 inch might open the door to watch a flick, read a newspaper or mag, play games or browse the internet on a lighter and more economically sized iPad. Such might be the rationale for a smaller ipad.

But if the frame round the iPad screen ever shrinks to the bezel, problem solved.

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