It’s pretty much a forgone conclusion that Apple is busy working on the next generation iPad. The blogoshpere is full of rumors about new features, liked a carbon fiber body or high resolution screen, that might make their way into the final shipping version. But features aren’t everything.
While the new features are important, the other big question is when will Apple finally unveil the new iPad. The first generation iPad was unveiled on January 27 and Apple traditionally updates products on an annual cycle. While we expect the new iPad 2 to makes its debut any day now, we decided to take a closer look at when the magic day might be.
Just this week Japanese tech site Macotakara announced that their sources informed them the big event would be some time in March. While the site didn’t provide any additional details on the exact time frame, it did question whether the release date would be a global release or come in stages, as was the case with the first generation iPad.
While March certainly seems like a possibility, German Mac site MacNotes.de (German) says they’ve received information from an iPad accessory maker that the iPad 2 will be previewed next week. The site claims the event is already in the works and that the iPad will initially be exclusive to the US for the first three months.
We feel that February is the likely month for Apple to introduce their new tablet but next week is probably a bit early. Why? Apple generally sends out media invites before they introduce a new product and these invites usually give attendees a 5-10 day notice. Since no invites have been spotted, the probability that next week is the magic week is extremely low.
Another thing going against a release next week is the day of the event. Apple is a creature of habit and it likes to release products on Wednesdays. Last year three of four major product launches happened on a Wednesday, only one launch happened on a Thursday.
Next Wednesday is February 9th and this also happens to be the exact date MacStories speculates the iPad could be unveiled. The website came to the conclusion based on some icon artwork found in the latest iOS 4.3 beta. While the day would match nicely with Apple’s preferred launch day, it doesn’t give the press much time to prepare and travel to California to cover the event.
So if next week isn’t the week, when will the iPad 2 makes its debut? Based on the latest rumors and previous Apple launches, we speculate that they’ll take the wraps off in the third or fourth week of February and that it will likely be on a Wednesday. That leaves only a few more weeks for us to find out if our guess is correct.