John Gruber of Daring Fireball is wading into the iPad rumors, and adding his own thoughts. Specifically, he speculates that HP’s new TouchPad device may face competition from a hypothetical “iPad 3” which he suspects will be announced alongside the new iPods this September. Thus, my gut feeling is that Apple will move the iPad […]
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Third-Generation iPad Coming This Septermber?

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John Gruber of Daring Fireball is wading into the iPad rumors, and adding his own thoughts. Specifically, he speculates that HP’s new TouchPad device may face competition from a hypothetical “iPad 3” which he suspects will be announced alongside the new iPods this September.

Thus, my gut feeling is that Apple will move the iPad to a September release schedule, alongside the iPods. But they wouldn’t want to wait over a year and a half from the announcement of the original iPad to announce the second one — not with these stakes, and not with so many serious competitors trying their best to catch up.

He also mentions that he doesn’t believe that April is a great month for a yearly release schedule for the iPad, nor is it the worst time. He suspects that, although April is the fourth month of the year, it may feel too early for revisions because consumers, who just received iPads as gifts over the holidays, will hold out on buying the device so as to not be outdated in the spring.

Regardless, Gruber caveats what he says as a honest to goodness guess, and not him playing coy as he’s done in the past. He as speculates that the iPad we see in September may be a “pro” model or a “iPad 2 HD”, which would be the reason we’ve heard so many conflicting reports about the next iPad’s screen resolution.

Adding fuel to the fire, TechCrunch is reporting that they too have heard reports that iPad will be refreshed in the fall.

We’ve now heard that this “fall surprise” is related to this would-be iPad 3. We don’t have any more concrete information beyond that. But, as of right now, the plan is apparently to release one iteration of the iPad in the next few weeks. And then blow the doors open with another new version in the fall.

In short, the story is that Apple will be releasing the next iPad within the next few months, and then another new model in September. Again, this is unusual for Apple, they normally follow a fairly rigid release cycle. New iPhones during WWDC, new iPods in September, and Mac updates sprinkled around there year.

Gruber has better sources and knows what’s he’s talking about, but I can’t see this happening. It would burn too many customers. Now, if I had to guess myself, Apple will move the iPad announce to around WWDC. This way, they have more time to update the line and have enough produced to meet demand, a problem that plagued the original iPad, and it’s not so early in the year that Apple will be pissing off a bunch of customers that got the device during the last holiday quarter, but not too late either. Lastly, I don’t think this will interfere with iPhone refreshes that are done during WWDC. Both devices address a similar, but not the same market.

So, as of now, color me skeptical.

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