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iPad 2: The Rumor Timeline

With the iPad 2 announcement reportedly scheduled for a media event next week in San Francisco, it’s time to take a step back and re-analyze rumors posted in past months about the next-generation device. If rumors are of any indication and sources to be trusted, this little trip down the memory lane should give us a quick recap of the details we think we know about the iPad 2.

So read along after the break, and let’s see what the Apple rumor mill offered so far about the new tablet.

September 17th, 2010

Apple is expected to launch the second-generation iPad in the first-quarter of 2011, the suppliers noted.

Component suppliers of iPad are expected to start shipments for the second-generation iPad at the beginning of 2011, the suppliers added.

Digitimes reports the second generation iPad is coming in the first quarter of 2011. No surprise there, but the website doesn’t say anything about an “iPad Mini” – which was rumored at the time.

October 7th, 2010

Ask and you shall receive: Here’s a shot of an iPad back case showing the dock connectors both on the bottom of the iPad (as we’re used to) and on the side of the iPad so you can dock it in landscape mode. Just as we hoped.

Website Mission Repair posts some photos of a “leaked” iPad enclosure that shows a flat design and double 30-pin dock connector on both sides. The photos looked a little fake / Photoshopped, but in the following months speculation mounted that the iPad 2 would have a flat design and an additional port on the left side.

October 17th, 2010

Today Patently Apple has found out that the European Trademark Office published a series of designs related to an iPad model featuring multiple 30-pin dock connectors.

The European Trademark Office publishes a patent design Apple was granted about a dual dock connector on the iPad. Again, on the left side.

November 26th, 2010

The video-phone feature (probably FaceTime) is expected to benefit Apple iPad’s webcam suppliers, while iPad 2 may adopt smaller size panels featuring thinner glass. The USB feature will allow the device to be more connection friendly, while Apple’s “Retina Display” technology will enhance image and color output performance. The 3-axis gyroscopes will enhance gaming, added the paper.

Digitimes reposts a report from the Economy Daily News claiming that the iPad 2 would feature a gyroscope, USB port, lighter design, camera and Retina Display.

November 30th, 2010

Largan Precision has declined to comment on market rumors indicating the company will be the sole lens module supplier for Apple‘s upcoming iPad 2 tablet with shipments to kick off in the first quarter of 2011, according to a company filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE).

Digitimes reports Apple selected Largan precision as the sole camera lens maker for the iPad 2. Previous rumors indicated Largan had been selected by other companies to ship 5MP lens modules for “tablet PCs”.

December 7th, 2010

The sources pointed out that the iPad 2 will ship as soon as the end of February in 2011. Apple originally planned to start mass production in January, but because the device’s firmware is currently still in testing, Apple has been postponing the schedule. Since Foxconn’s new plants in Chengdu are still in pilot production, iPad 2 will be mainly supplied by its Shenzhen plants, while the company’s upstream component partners have all been notified of the shipments schedule.

The usual Digitimes points out that shipments of the iPad 2 will begin in February 2011 – they were scheduled for January but the iOS build required by the iPad 2 wasn’t ready yet. 400,000 - 600,000 units are expected to ship in February.

December 8th, 2010

The second generation iPad is expected to hit the market at the end of the first quarter of 2011 and suppliers in the supply chain are estimated to start shipments in the first quarter.

It is understood that Coretronic is the only BLU supplier of CMI for iPad 2, while LG Display is getting iPad 2 BLUs from Coretronic and Radiant Opto-Electronics.

Digitimes keeps on publishing iPad 2 rumors coming from sources close to Apple’s manufacturing process. The shocking news this time: the iPad 2 won’t have an AMOLED screen.

December 9th, 2010

The Crystal Case for iPad 2nd Generation also sports a much bigger speaker opening. There have been rumors recently about the “iPad 2″ coming out in less than 100 days, and there also have been rumors about Apple willing to implement features such as FaceTime camera, Retina Display and a USB port on it. But a rear camera? That’d be new to the rumor mill.

The Apple rumor mill begins working at full speed on this day. A series of cases for the iPad 2 are posted online, showing a rear camera, larger speaker cutout on the bottom right, tapered edges.

December 27th, 2010

The volume buttons on the side of the next-generation iPad appear to be of the split style with an oblong form factor as seen on the current iPod touch, as opposed to the rocker buttons used on the current iPad and the round split buttons used on the iPhone 4.

Japanese blog Macotakara takes a look at several iPad 2 cases found online and concludes they are designed for a device that would resemble a larger iPod touch with a flat back and tapered edges. The volume rocker buttons would look different, too.

December 28th, 2010

The sources pointed out that about 60-65% of current iPad shipments are 3G models, indicating that consumers prefer models that are able to connect to the Internet all the time, therefore Apple is aiming to work even more closely with telecom carriers by offering more wireless solutions for iPad 2 to satisfy market demand.

More iPad rumors! This time, Digitimes claims there will be three different versions – UMTS, CDMA, WiFi-only – and the iPad 2 will also feature a Kindle-like display for better reading in direct sunlight.

January 5th, 2010

First off, the iPad 2 mockup inside the case has the home button closer to the edge of the unit, and it’s got a flat back. It’s also got tapered edges as we heard last week, and when trying to put a current generation iPad in the case, Engadget was told that it wouldn’t fit because of its size.

An iPad 2 mockup is spotted at CES by Engadget. Guess what, it seems to be based on the speculation reported above in this post.

January 13th, 2011

We found four interesting files in the latest SDK and they all amount to the next-generation iPad having a camera. You will notice the same shutter screen as found on the iPhone and iPod touch in addition to camera roll icons for videos and pictures.

9to5mac finds some camera files in the iOS 4.3 beta SDK. What about those files? Their resolution is 1024 x 768, same of the iPad 1. Rumors about the lack of a Retina Display on the iPad 2 start intensifying.

January 13th, 2011

Reliable sources told us about the upcoming launch of the Apple iPad 2: the first or second Saturday in April will see the first sales of Apples new tablet. The iPad 2 will sell US-only for three months, and Apple Store-only for up to half a year. In July, more countries will follow. Walmart, Best Buy and Co. maybe have to wait until October until they are allowed to sell Apples new tablets.

German website MacNotes reports the iPad 2 could launch on April 2nd or April 9th. The report still holds some credibility, considering Apple is rumored to announce the iPad on March 2nd – just a month ahead of MacNotes’ speculative release date.

January 15th, 2011

The new iPad will feature a dual GSM / CDMA chipset produced by Qualcomm and will mark Apple’s shift away from Infineon as its chipset maker to Qualcomm for all of its mobile devices. It’s not clear if the chipset being used will be based on the company’s EV-DO / HSPA Gobi variety or an entirely new design. Presumably, the strength of the new dual-mode chipset is that it will allow both Verizon and AT&T to offer the iPad simultaneously.

Huge report by Engadget on the iPad 2 and iPhone 5. The website claims the iPad 2 is going to feature a GSM - CDMA chipset produced by Qualcomm, a higher resolution screen with less DPI than the iPhone 4, an SD card slot, no USB port but yes, a lighter design.

January 17th, 2011

As noted by MacRumors, website GlobalDirectParts (the same company that posted leaked photos of the CDMA iPhone parts weeks ago) is now selling an “iPad 2 LCD Screen” for $218.19. The website also sells screens replacement for the first-generation iPad and a variety of other Apple products. The $218.19 price point seems to suggest higher production costs for the new screen, which may or may not imply a higher resolution built-in the unit.

The first leaked iPad 2 screen picture doesn’t say much, but it’s something.

January 18th, 2011

The two tech blogs received photos of cases from China that whilst different had virtually identical port openings and further back up reports by Engadget that the second generation iPad would have an SD card slot and rear facing camera.

Another iPad 2 case surfaces, bloggers see a mysterious port at the top, speculate it might be a mini DisplayPort.

January 19th, 2011

I asked around, and according to my sources, it is too good to be true: the iPad 2 does not have a retina display. I believe the iPad 2’s display will remain at 1024 × 768. Its display may be improved in other ways — brighter, better power consumption, thinner, perhaps. Maybe it uses the new manufacturing technique Apple introduced with the iPhone 4 display, which brings the LCD closer to the surface of the touchscreen glass — making it look more like pixels on glass rather than pixels under glass. But my sources are pretty sure that it’s not 2048 × 1536 or any other “super high resolution.

Daring Fireball’s John Gruber pours some cold water on the Retina Display for iPad 2 rumors, saying that it’s “too good to be true”. He also mentions the iBooks “2x” graphic files that we discovered last year and could hint at a double resolution iPad 2, claiming that it simply was the work of a design looking ahead and guessing a Retina Display would come to the iPad someday.

January 19th, 2011

The next generation iPad may gain additional superpowers as it automatically powers on when you lift your case’s cover.

A string found in the iOS 4.3 SDK suggests the iPad 2 might get a smart proximity sensor that automatically locks and unlocks the device as you open the cover of the case.

January 21st, 2011

We’ve done some digging in the latest SDK it looks like Apple’s much rumored second-generation iPad will not feature some fancy 5 megapixel camera, but will instead shoot your flicks and take your pics with something close to a 1 megapixel camera.

9to5mac looks into the iOS SDK again, finds out that the iPad 2 might have a 1 MP camera like the iPod touch. This doesn’t sound exceptionally great to us, and the latest cases surfaced online seem to suggest that the device will get a lens bigger than a 1 MP one.

February 2nd, 2011

A Reuters eyewitness saw what appeared to be a working model of the next iPad with a front-facing camera at the top edge of the glass screen at a press conference to mark the debut of News Corp’s Daily online paper in New York on Wednesday.

The weirdest report ever: with no pictures or video, Reuters reports an eyewitness saw the iPad 2 at the launch of The Daily. Just like that.

February 4th, 2011

Our source notes that a key iPad, iPhone, and iPod component provider has been asked by Apple to develop a part for use in a seven-inch iPad. Our source believes that this part is for a new version of the device that is still in development, and doesn’t know whether it will go into production.

iLounge posts a series of alleged iPad 2 details: a smaller version it’s still in development, Apple might use a material similar to carbon fiber in the new iPads which, by the way, will also get NFC capabilities. There’s no doubt Apple has been testing internally various iPad form factors, and an NFC-capable iPad would be pretty neat for instant iOS-to-iOS or RFID tag communication.

February 4th, 2011

In speaking to AppleInsider, Kuo said his checks in the Far East indicate production figures of 38 percent for the K93 WiFi model, 46 percent of the K46 3G model, and 16 percent for the Verizon-compatible K95 CDMA version. This indicates that Apple apparently expects most iPad 2 users will opt for 3G models, even on Verizon where new iPhone buyers have the option to pay $20 for hotspot service through their new smartphone.

It appears that 60% of initial iPad shipments will be 3G units. With Personal Hotspot coming on iOS 4.3, I don’t know if I’m going to buy a 3G model – the iPhone as a mobile hotspot is just so good.

February 8th, 2011

The new iPad will be available through Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc., but not Sprint NextelCorp. or T-Mobile USA in the U.S., according to some of the people familiar with the matter.

Shocker from the Wall Street Journal: the iPad 2 is in production and it will be available on AT&T and Verizon.

February 9th, 2011

So, here’s my guess at Apple’s iPad plans for 2011:

- An iPad 2, fairly soon. Say, a March announcement, shipping in the first week of April. Faster, more RAM, maybe more storage, thinner and lighter, a front-facing camera.Running iOS 4.3.
- iOS 5, announced at a developer event in March, shipping in June.
- iPad 3, shipping in September, announced at the annual iPod event. Running iOS 5.1, same as the next-generation iPod Touch.

The biggest rumor that hit the interwebs in the past weeks mentions the possibility of having not one, but two iPads released this year. Why would Apple do that? Rumor has it, to shift the iPad timeframe to September rather than April, however not skipping this April to release the iPad 2. Two iPads this year would sure upset some customers and Apple fans, but they would help Apple placing the iPad against the much more profitable holiday season.

February 12th, 2011

Samsung’s PLS technology is superior to IPS in many regards. The viewing angles provided by PLS are improved as the display actually shifts the shape of the individual pixels so they are displayed brighter and with better contrast from more angles.

A new report claims Super PLS might become the iPad’s next display technology to offer even greater viewing angles and picture quality.

February 22nd, 2011

To those who intensely cares about this kind of stuff–which would be pretty much everyone in the tech ecosystem–Apple will hold its much-anticipated event on March 2, where the tech giant seems poised to unveil a new version of its hugely successful iPad.

This brings us to today. All Things Digital reports Apple is going to announce an iPad 2 media event for next week, on March 2. The conference will likely take place at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center, the usual venue for Apple keynotes and product announcements.

So what do we think we know about the iPad 2? Well, for sure it’s going to be thinner and lighter. That just sounds obvious at this point, together with a front-facing camera for FaceTime. More RAM and an updated CPU sound likely as well, but we still have our doubts on the rear-facing camera and the mysterious left / top ports seen in some cases. What do you think? What kind of iPad are you expecting from Apple next week?

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