APPLE IS EXPECTED to launch the second generation of their hugely successful iPad device in the next few months with rumours already swirling as to what it might contain.
Having sold 14.8 million units of the first device since its launch last year, the new version of the tablet is expected to be just as popular with consumers when it is released sometime between late spring and early summer this year.
The Wall Street Journal has reported a new version of the tablet computer is already in production with a built-in camera and faster processor.
The famously secretive Apple has so far refused to comment on the story or any of the other rumours doing the rounds about what the iPad 2 may feature.
TheJournal.ie has summarised the best ten rumours we’ve come across so far:
1. It will have a front and back-facing camera
Off the back of the iPhone 4 and its Facetime technology which allows for video chat, speculation has been rife that there will be a similar feature on the next iPad that will allow you to live video chat with other Facetime users as well as record amusing videos of yourself, perhaps.
2. It will have a USB port
According to DigiTimes, the next iPad will be the first Apple mobile device to have a micro-USB port. This will be an attempt to make the iPad a bridge device between phone and the computer and draw in those who have been so far unconvinced that the iPad is worth the outlay.
3. There will be a smaller 7-inch version
This rumour, which originated in China, seems unlikely now following Steve Jobs assertion that 7-inch iPads would be too big to compete with phones and too small to compete with 10-inch tablets. Still, would you like to see a 7-inch version? Let us know in the comments section below.
4. The back will support wide-ranging speakers.
This originated from a Japanese blogger Mac Otakara who cites leaked photos from a Chinese source that show a hole in the lower right of the rear panel that is neither a USB connector or a SD card slot. It is in fact, says the rumour, a large, wide-ranged speaker unit covered with metal mesh. Exciting.
5. A faster processor
This seems pretty much nailed on although there is plenty of speculation about just how fast a new processor might be with KitGuru saying that it could be as fast 2GHz which would mean some form of HD video recording capability as well.
6. They’ve already shot the adverts for it
The adverts have already been shot at New York’s Pier 59 by British photographer David Sims, according to 9to5 Mac. The ads featured first generation iPads that will be photoshopped out for new ones in post production. Which begs the question, what was the point in that?
7. There will be no ‘home’ button
This one could be controversial. The new iPad may not feature an always handy ‘home’ button and instead users would apply multitouch gestures which would bring you back to the homescreen.
We can’t see too many Apple iPhone and iPad aficionados being happy with that. But thankfully over at ZDNet they’re pretty sceptical about it actually happening.
8. It will have an anti-smudge, anti-reflective screen
This would help Apple in it’s battle against the Amazon Kindle. The company are reportedly working on ways in which to strengthen the next iPad’s anti-smudge and anti-reflective treatments in a bid to attract more consumers to the item ahead of traditional bookreaders like the Kindle. But might removing the anti-reflection go against the iPad’s beautiful glass aesthetic?
9. It will have a flat back.
The buzz around this centres on the apparent leak of a case for the iPad 2 which suggests that it will have a flat back, similar to the iPhone 4 but it’s unlikely Apple would divulge details of the dimensions of their new model to third parties given how secretive they normally are with the launch of a new product.
10. Forget the iPad 2, there’s already an iPad 3 in the works
Now this is where it truly goes a bit insane. The talk is that off the back of a release of a second generation model in the next few months, Apple will go again in September with a third generation model.
It will be released alongside a batch of new iPods in a bit to compete with the HP TouchPad which is slated for a late summer release.
Expect there to be an iPad 4 in the shops for this Christmas!