Plus: iPad 2 Rumor Round-Up
The iPad 2 will be the device that ushers in the second generation of tablets. We've heard every possible rumor for this slate. A retinal display, a 128 GB hard drive, a 7" model, a world iPad and an iPad with an OLED display have all been rumored at one (or more) points. We've even heard rumors that the iPad 2 will just be an iPad with a camera and maybe an NFC sensor or something.
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Whether the iPad 2 is an iterative improvement or a great leap forward, it'll be shipping in February. We reported earlier that rumors from Digitimes have the iPad 2 shipping "as soon as the end of February". The first shipment will be around half-a-million devices.
We can expect to see the iPad 2 launch in April, which should give Apple just enough time to liquidate their remaining iPad stock. At that point, Apple will either stop production of their first slate or continue to sell it as a bargain model. That could end up being the wisest move possible- Android tablets currently have a lock on the "low end" of the market.
But a $299 or even $399 iPad? It would still be a solid enough device to compete with new dual-core machines. The App Store and that exceptional battery give the iPad a leg-up on even much "faster" gadgets. A budget iPad would certainly act to disrupt products like the Adam and the Playbook, currently priced just under the iPad's $499 floor.
Back to the iPad 2: another rumor from Digitimes states that Coretronic will supply the Backlight Unit for the iPad 2. This pretty much kills any possibility of an OLED display. Don't get excited for a retina display either. The math does not work out. One blogger calculated that it would require more pixels than the processor could handle.
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The current iPad display has 786,432 pixels. It would need some 4,915,200 pixels to actually be a retinal display. On the plus side? Facetime is still real likely, and there's almost no chance the iPad 2 will ship without a camera.