Slimmer, Lighter. Now With FaceTime. Still Magical.
(Our best guess at Apple's front page when the iPad 2 release date comes around)
With rumors of the iPad 2 heating up well before the anticipated release early next year, details about the device continue to emerge through multiple sources. We know that the iPad 2 is coming, and have no doubts about that. The real questions is exactly when, and what features will Apple put in the new tablet.
We've had our guesses before, but now let's take a quick look at the stuff we know is coming based on the rumors we've been hearing, most of which come from reputable sources.
Like this, but bigger. It will be like having the person right in front of you!
1) It Has a FaceTime Camera
We already know that the iPad 2 will have a camera based on past reports. For one, it's the only Apple device that doesn't have a FaceTime Camera. The iPod Touch, iPhone 4, all MacBooks, iMac and even the Apple professional displays have FaceTime Cameras built-in. They are giving this tech a serious push.
A Reuters report mentions the "front- and back-mounted cameras" of the iPad 2. Their sources are four people within a handful of part suppliers for the iPad 2: touchscreen chip designer Wintek Corp, battery maker Simplo Technology Ltd and AVY Precision who makes covers for electronic products.
2) It Has a Back-Facing Camera as Well
This comes from the photos we'ves seen of the new case designs. The iPad 2 has a camera on the back. Whether it's just for switching views on FaceTime or if you just want to carry a very large camera, the photos from Chinese case manufacturers show that extra hole for a camera:
and this last design showed up later yesterday:
3) Higher Resolution Display
This is another answer that seemed too obvious to pass up. However, chances are the iPad 2 won't have a Retina display, so no need to get your hopes up. That kind of resolution would probably be very difficult given the size of the screen (though it would be nice). Still, a slightly sharper display than the current iPad is not out of the question.
We also learned a few days ago that the backlight unit (BLU) manufacturer for the iPad 2 has been chosen, and is Taiwan-based Coretronic. This rumor is significant because, if true, it means that the iPad 2 will not have the OLED screen that many expected.
4) Slimmer, Lighter
The new iPad is also said to be slimmer and lighter. This sounds like Apple, their usual trend of releasing the new model of their devices each year typically includes slimming it down a bit. Just take a look at the iPhone and the iPod Touch. Heck, even the original iPod lost some weight over the course of its existence (Right now, it sits still as the iPod Classic).
Most likely sight in front of Apple Store on April XX, 2011
5) It Will Ship By April
This one isn't quite a feature, but it's important because it's a likely launch date. This is one we've known for a while for two reasons: 1) Apple usually does their upgrades about once a year. 2) Reports are coming in that Foxconn (who manufactures the iPad) will begin shipping the iPad 2 by the end of February. That makes sense for Steve's announcement at the beginning of the year, the pre-order hype to buildup and a release date in early April.
Waiting for the iPad 2
All we can do is wait until more announcements and more leaks make their way through the internet. The iPad 2 is happening, we just don't know when. Based on all those reports, we can piece together everything we need to know about what the iPad 2 may look like.
Currently, Foxconn, who proposed to have 1 million employees by the end of the year in hopes of reducing employee stress. However, Foxconn is continuing to hire employees, and is believed to be hiring more hands for focusing on manufacturing iPads. This late in the game, it's probably not for the Christmas rush.