According to website MacNotes.de, which previously reported the next-generation iPad is set to come out in the first weeks of April, Apple is planning a media event next week to discuss the new features in iOS 4.3 and provide a preview of the iPad 2.
A release date between 2nd and 9th April seems quite likely, sources - not only ours - pointed to a release in early April. The only question is: When will the iPad 2 be presented? One manufacturer of iPad accessoires now told us Apple is planning on holding an event next week.
Our guess is Apple will present the iPad 2 as a "One more thing" during a special iOS 4.3 developer event next week. iOS 4.3 is still a beta, Apple released the third beta on Tuesday. It still contains critical bugs, but might be released soon as soon as all the bugs are fixed.
The rumor follows a series of reports surfaced last night that hint at the release of iOS 4.3 in two weeks. iOS 4.3 is currently being tested with developers and has reached the beta 3 status, which may lead to a release of a GM seed next week. If the rumors are to be believed, in two weeks (and after the release of the Verizon iPhone on February 10th) Apple could roll out iOS 4.3 for all iOS devices, which, among other features, will introduce the Personal Hotspot functionality on the iPhone. The timing is also somewhat curious: the long anticipated iPad newspaper The Daily offers a free trial of two weeks, sponsored by Verizon Wireless. The Verizon iPhone will come out on Feb. 10 with the Personal Hotspot feature as an exclusive; AT&T iPhones will get Personal Hotspot only with iOS 4.3. Looking at the numbers and hints, the two-week timeframe seems likely.
It is unclear, however, why would Apple hold an event to announce both a new version of iOS and the iPad 2 as "one more thing". Usually, new devices are always given a dedicated media event, not a brief preview during an iOS-related event. [via]