Most likely Apple today will unveil its next-generation iPad at a press event to be held at its Cupertino, Calif. headquarter at 10:00 a.m. PT. But then of course, nothing is ever set in stone with Apple and rumors and wish lists abound across the web today in the final hours before the announcement.
It should be stressed that this would probably be a little early in the refresh cycle for the iPad, so this really could be an iPad-related announcement (possibly some kind of accessory or service that will work with Apple’s tablet?). However, recent competition from nearly every major mobile OEM (Motorola, Samsung, LG, HP, HTC, RIM) has put Apple in a tough spot, where it needs to ad a few features to keep up with the pack. Here’s a few ways people are speculating the company will do that.
What’s in a Name?
Many believe the device will be called the iPad 2 but really that’s total speculation, although probably not too much of stretch.
So much of today’s announcement revolves around the addition of cameras to the iPad. While a high-megapixel rear-facing camera is probably seen more as a luxury, a smaller-megapixel front-facing camera for using various video conferencing is seen as must if Apple hopes to stay in step with contenders like the Tab, Xoom, Playbook and G-Slate.
SD Memory Card Slot
There’s been a lot of crossed fingers for a removable memory port on the next iPad. The original, you’ll recall, requires expensive proprietary adaptors for the use of removable memory, which angered many. While this would be an interesting feature for the iPad, it’s probably not going to happen given Apple’s tiered pricing structure for the device is based almost entirely on internal memory capacity.
The iPhone 4 impressed with its high-resolution retina display. Many hope to see more of the same on the next iPad. However, the iPad’s price competiveness relative to other tablets on the market may go down the drain if Apple packs a retina display in this version of the iPad. However, original iPads will most definitely see a drop in price, which could ease the effect of a higher price tag on the newer model.
The Need for Speed
This is no-brainer. If a new iPad really is unveiled today, it will have a faster processor than the current model’s 1 GHz A4. How much faster? Dual-core? Wait and see.
With Apple’s massive North Carolina data center nearing completion this Spring and reports surfacing of a free Mobile Me service, as well as a possible cloud-based iTunes offering, the company’s signature “…and one more thing,” could be very intriguing if there is one more thing.
Again, no one really knows anything about today’s announcement. Maybe Apple will announce that it’s signed a deal with a major auto manufacturer to embed iPads in millions of cars? Apple has such a reputation for over-shooting that it’s almost more of surprise when they fall short.