Tomorrow’s iPad 2 launch isn’t the one that we should be getting excited about, instead we should reserve our enthusiasm for the iPad 3, which is apparently due later this year, an Apple employee tells the Cult of Mac.
The Apple staffer reportedly says that the iPad 2 will serve as a slight speed bump, while the iPad 3 will be a more significant redesign coming this fall.
While it may sound crazy, this isn’t the first time that we’ve heard talk of another iPad coming later this year. TechCrunch’s MG Siegler reported last month that an iPad 3 may make its way to consumers by the end of the year. It’s not inconceivable for Apple to launch another tablet this year, especially if it didn’t manage to include all of the hardware updates it wanted to in the iPad 2.
Recent rumors have also placed the iPad 2 with the same 1024 by 768 resolution as the original iPad, which pales in comparison to higher display resolutions we’re seeing from Android tablets like the Motorola Xoom. Many had expected Apple to introduce some sort of Retina Display in the iPad 2, similar to the high-resolution display it’s using in the iPhone 4, but that doesn’t appear to be happening now. Now it seems like that high-resolution display may be destined for the iPad 3, especially since Apple will likely need a revamped tablet to compete with the plethora of Android 3.0-powered slates coming this year.
The Apple employee mentions that the iPad 2’s most interesting new feature may not even be hardware related: Apple may use the device’s release to show off its revamped MobileMe service, which is expected to be free and store user media in the cloud.
Hardware-wise, it looks like the iPad 2 will likely sport front and rear cameras tomorrow, as we’ve reported endlessly. It will also likely be thinner and lighter than the current iPad, which is cumbersome to hold for prolonged periods. And of course, it will pack-in a faster processor — likely Apple’s rumored A5 dual-core chip — and more RAM. The iPad 2 is also expected to work across both AT&T and Verizon’s cellular networks.
A report from the weekend speculated that Apple may surprise everyone by having the iPad 2 ready for consumers to purchase tomorrow, but I don’t think there’s a good chance of that happening.