The iPad 2 is no doubt coming along in the near future. We have already heard of some of the features that will be included with Apple's new tablet computer and we are eagerly awaiting the official announcement, which is rumored to be happening next week.
You may also remember when we wrote a piece just before the holidays, saying that it was best to go ahead and get that iPad you've wanted for Christmas. After all, you could always sell it off later for a pretty small markdown from the original price you paid. Fast-forward to February 2011, and we would have to say that at this time, it's better to hold off and wait for that iPad 2 announcement.
1) The iPad 2 will be prepared for all-new Apps the iPad won't be equipped to handle
One reason: camera. The iPad 2 is going to have a built-in camera, and you can bet that there will be a slew of Apps that come with camera support. That is aside from the addition of Photo Booth and FaceTime (both of which were found in developer builds of iOS). Other Apps like Fring and Tango will no doubt come along with iPad support and the users of the original iPad will be left without the cool features.
The iPad 2 will definitely have some upgrades. We can expect it to be lighter and faster. Why does this matter? Ever try reading iBooks with one hand for too long? The iPad isn't exactly light. Not for a tablet, at least. Carrying the thing can get tiring after extended use.
The iPad 2 will be equipped with a faster processor, making it more prepared for future updates. As Apple updates versions of iOS, they tend to phase out older products. We wouldn't be surprised if by the time the iPad 3 is available (say around a year from now), the first-gen model is rendered obsolete by the upgrades.
4) First iPad will be more affordable
So, maybe you don't care about the camera or a zippier processor. Lighter is cool, but you can deal. What's the best part about the iPad 2? Well, people will be selling off their old iPad so that they can put money down towards their new model. We've mentioned before that Apple products tend to retain a lot of value, but don't be surprised if you can get an original iPad for $100 less than what they cost now. Perhaps Apple will even offer older-generation iPad models for a great price (as refurbished) as they try to clear the remaining inventory. The point is, even if you want the first iPad, wait for the iPad 2. You will probably find the older model marked down.
5) The iPad 2 is expected to land in April, with an announcement expected to come next week
Admittedly, this is rumor and speculation. Still, it comes from several websites and blogs all with their own inside sources. Still, it's late enough in the game right now that if you were to buy or order an iPad this week, you would likely be disappointed within a month as Apple starts gearing up for the new model.
If you want an iPad, hold off. You've waited this long, right? Give it another month or two and now you have more choices. Perhaps it will be compatible with Verizon's network, or you will like the features of the new device. Maybe you don't care about the new features but wouldn't mind saving an extra hundred bucks when you buy your tablet. Either way, patience is the best bet right now as Apple is sure to be introducing a new model sooner than later.
All that said, there's no reason not to start setting some of that cash aside now. If the iPad 2 releases at the beginning of April, you could set aside about $60 bucks a week and probably have plenty of money for when the new tablet is released. For now, you can see what we do know about the iPad 2 based on the current developer build of iOS 4.3: here.