iPad 2.0 is Coming: Speculation on What to Expect
There’s a lot of buzz in the air about iPad version 2, and there’s no question Apple is already hot in production with the device. Just like summer in North America brings a new iPhone, it looks like January will now be the month of the iPad. What can we expect? Alleged pictures of cases for the new iPad have sprung up all over the place, but they don’t tell the entire story.
Here’s my take on what you can expect in the next version of the iPad:
- FaceTime Camera: If an iPhone feature makes it to the iPod Touch, you can bet it’ll make it to the iPad. Plus, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t. Customer demand has been there since the first iPad. But Apple is smart to not include certain features right away, because it gives consumers a good reason to upgrade and it gives Apple a solid base of user appreciation and adoption of a technology (iPhone, iPod Touch) before Apple proliferates it fully. Now that FaceTime is on all its other devices — even on the Mac — there’s no reason the iPad won’t be inducted to the video-chatting club.
- Storage Bump: Apple will likely bump the base version of the iPad from 16GB to 32GB, and then give its topline model 128 GB. Price points likely will stay the same.
- Shape Redesign: There was a some criticism that the iPad’s rounded back prevented it from sitting flush on a table. Certain case images show a design more akin to the latest (and first) generation iPod Touch with a tapered edge that becomes flat. (Personally, I really like the curved design — a soft curve felt better in my hand than a sudden edge.)
- Rear-Facing Camera: Leaked case photos show an opening for a camera lens, and speculation abounds that the rear camera may even have a higher resolution than the iPhone 4 camera. I don’t know how many people would hold up iPads to take pictures, except in business-use cases such as insurance company field agents or medical staff.
You might want to ignore rumors about…
- A USB Port: None of Apple’s iOS devices have native USB ports, and Apple’s Camera Connection Kit for the iPad is the only Apple-sanctioned device that converts the 30-pin dock connector to a USB port. It’s pretty much used only to transfer pictures, though some have used it to connect headsets and keyboards. Apple has cracked down on that in iOS 4.2, however, by lowering the power output of the iPad, so unofficial non-self-powered devices no longer work. Boo.
- An SD Card Slot: Some apparent iPad 2.0 case images show an opening for what has been called the new “speaker” or a potential spot for a SD Card. There has also been speculation that an extra slot near the volume buttons could be an SD Card slot. If Apple included this, I would imagine it would be used only to transfer pictures, and not for local storage.
- A Landscape 30-Pin Dock Connector: Way back in January 2010, some leaked images of iPad prototype cases showed what looked like spots for two dock connectors. Apple clearly scrapped this most likely due to aesthetic reasons rather than practical ones. Even with some strong demand, don’t count on it. It really does make the iPad look ugly with a hole in the side.
Amidst all the buzz about iPad 2.0, sales of the first version of the iPad were high during the 2010 holiday season. Shortly after Christmas, I walked into the Apple store to buy my MacBook Air and a customer in front of me and one to the right of me both were gleefully buying iPads. Apple has an ability to create a device so compelling that waiting for ‘the new one’ is just too long.