Grading the iPad 2 Rumors: What Was a Hit? What Was a Miss?

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Rumors are fun, aren't they? It's not so much the rumors themselves, as it is the idea of everybody getting together and trying to figure out what's real and what's not. We all want to know what the device will be priced at, and what the specs will be. It's just that excitement and the anticipation that comes with any new announcement. 

Of course a lot of rumors are wrong. This time, however, things seemed a little more accurate than usual. It just goes to show how much information can leak under even the tightest of circumstances.

Let's take a look at what was announced today and compare it to the rumors, shall we?


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1) The iPad 2 will have cameras

True. Of course the cameras are for FaceTime and PhotoBooth, both of which were also said to be coming to the new iPad. This was nailed down to the very last detail, so it wasn't a surprise to see a camera on the new model.

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2) Faster

True. Well, to be fair, this was common sense. Otherwise, what's the point of a product refresh? We also heard that it would be a dualcore processor, which also turned out to be true. We also heard rumors that the iPad 2 would run on the A5 processor. This is relevant because it was unclear whether it would be called the A5, or whether it would just be a minor speed boost with the same processor.


3) Thinner, Lighter

True, in both cases. The weight doesn't seem like a huge difference, but we haven't held it ourselves yet. Thinner though. Wow, it's a good deal thinner, this comparison shot will show you just how much:

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4) iPad 2 will cost more

False. We think this rumor first came because of a parts supplier who had iPad 2 screens. The display was selling for more at launch than the same part for the original iPad did one year ago. This led many to believe that we may see a slight price increase in the iPad. It wasn't too hard to imagine, as Apple has increased prices of some hardware in the past (Mac Mini). Then again, they've also dropped prices (MacBook Air, anyone?). Either way, this turned out to be false.


5) New speaker design

True. This turned out to be true even though the mock-ups we saw weren't exactly like the final product. The speaker grille was slightly different on early iPad 2 renders, and changed a day or two ago to closer match the real iPad 2.

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This was an older mock-up

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This was the newer one, which more closely matched the real iPad 2


6) The iPad 2 will simply be called the iPad

False. This one seemed reasonable. After all, Apple doesn't call the current iPod Touch the iPod Touch 4, and the iPod the iPod 6. The only exception to that was the iPhone, which is currently called the iPhone 4. Still, it seemed that the iPad would just remain named as is and that most of us were just using the term iPad 2 to separate it from the original model. This seemed reaffirmed by a leaked case with a label that said that it was built for "the new iPad." Well, can't win them all, can ya?


7) The iPad 2 will have a carbon fiber body

False. We believe that this one came from a patent application from a while back. Carbon fiber would mean a lighter iPad, but it would still have a very solid build. Nope, it's still aluminum. Or aluminium if you're Jony Ive.


8) Tunderbolt or Mini DisplayPort

False. This may have been because of one of those mock-up cases that had an opening that looked to be about the size of the Mini DisplayPort. The Thunderbolt port rumor was probably somebody's last-minute guess because of the new port featured on the MacBook Pro line. Either way, this rumor was wrong.


9) iLife Multimedia Editing Suite

True. This was also part of the last-minute stuff we heard would happen. It did, and it makes sense given that iMovie made its way to the iPhone. Now GarageBand, that's a whole new creature, and at $4.99 it's a nice deal.


10) MobileMe will be free

False. Are we suckers for still holding out, even after the conference? We know it didn't happen this time, but it has to be on the way later this year, right? Even if it's a tiered service and free only gets us a small bit of storage. There are just so many services like Dropbox that offer this sort of thing for free, we think Apple could manage. Oh, well, dream on.


11) iOS 4.3 will make it's debut, and we will get a launch date

True. We saw iOS 4.3, and some of the cool features. It launches the same day as the iPad 2, March 11. We didn't see any of the multitouch gestures, so we hope they are still in there. Either way, 4.3 is coming, and it's coming soon!


12) The iPad 2 will ship soon after the conference

True. Well some rumors said they may be in transit during the conference. That seemed like it could be a cool surprise. Still, nine days isn't too far off, so we are giving this one to the rumor mill. It was close enough, and the iPad 2 ended up launching quickly after.


13) The iPad 2 will contain an SD slot

False. This rumor was around for a while, as most Apple hardware now has an SD slot. We later heard that this one was false, but other rumors said that the said slot may be for a SIM card instead. Both rumors were wrong, the slot is not there. Score one for Apple and keeping that one under wraps.


14) Steve Jobs will be there

True. Wow, this one seemed a bit hard to imagine, but our props go to Italian blog site setteB.IT (via Google Translate), who first posted this rumor. It was good to see Steve Jobs up there looking good and ready to present the iPad 2. Kudos to him on surprising even the biggest news outlets and blog sites.


Score: 7 out of 14 or 50%


Final Thought

There were plenty of rumors surrounding the new iPad, and some were bigger than others. We've posted the ones that truly set the internet ablaze. The scorecard is actually looking pretty good since a lot of the stuff that everyone was sure would be on the iPad 2 was definitely included. The biggest miss was MobileMe becoming available for free, which almost everyone thought was going to happen. Steve Jobs was another one that surprised everyone, but he received a warm welcome from the crowd.

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