Apple looks set for April release of iPad 2
Analysts say second- generation iPad will hold front-facing camera
With just 30 shopping days left until Christmas 2010, sales of Apple’s iPad are strong, with 7.5m sold by the end of last month. But perhaps the technophiles queuing in Apple’s recently-opened flagship Covent Garden shop should think again: the rumour is the ‘iPad 2’will launch in April.
April 2011 will mark a year since the first release of the iPad – and industry experts are betting Apple will stick to a once-a-year upgrade of the device, just as it has with its market-dominating smartphone. The rumour mill has apparently been fed by indiscreet Asian manufacturers who supply parts for Apple.
But the iPod 2, as it has been dubbed outside Apple, is not expected to be a radical departure from the current incarnation, with the biggest change anticipated to be an extra camera. US tech analyst Brian Marshall, of Gleacher & Co said: "It will be the same form factor, but with dual-camera functionality. I don't think we'll see higher-capacity iPads.”
Those who had predicted a 128GB of the machine may be disappointed then – if it remains available only in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions – but the new camera will please many users as it will mean the iPad can be used for FaceTime, Apple’s videophone system.
There have been rumours the next-generation iPad would contain a second, front-facing camera since the release of the first version in April 2010 when eager tech-heads took some of the first commercially available models to pieces and found what appeared to be a camera-shaped hole.
Some bloggers and Apple-addicts had hoped the iPad 2 might be slimmer, or contain extra ports – including USB 2 – but Marshall suggested this would not happen – yet.
Meanwhile, the queues continue in the shops – and sales boom online, where UK consumers have already spent 23 per cent more than last year, as they rush to buy before next year’s VAT increase. ·
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