Apple Gearing Up for 'iPad 2 Plus' Release Later This Year?
As with the debate over whether the next-generation iPhone should tentatively be referred to as an "iPhone 5" or "iPhone 4S", observers are also differing in their opinions on Apple's next-generation iPad. While Apple has so far used the yearly upgrade cycle that has been relatively among the company's mobile devices for the iPad, there have been rumors that Apple is planning to release an updated iPad later this year. That update would come only about six months or so after the release of the iPad 2.
And while many reports have taken to calling the rumored device the "iPad 3" as a logical extension of Apple's naming scheme so far, a new note from FBR Capital Markets analyst Craig Berger (via International Business Times) has now coined a new term for the next-generation iPad: the "iPad 2 Plus".
Berger's note echoes a report from last week claiming that Apple is gearing up for a fall launch of the next-generation iPad, which will include a higher-resolution display.
"There are some indications from the supply chain that Apple may look to introduce an 'iPad 2 Plus' device as they put out request for quotes from various component suppliers for this marginally different device," FBR Capital Markets analyst Craig Berger wrote in a note to clients.
Apple may launch the device in late 2011, the analyst said, citing supply-chain contacts.
Berger's view of the next-generation iPad as a tweaked iPad 2 is essentially the reverse of theories that initially appeared earlier this year in the lead-up to the iPad 2 launch. At that time, some observers had considered what would become the iPad 2 to be an interim release to carry Apple through until it could release a more significant update later in the year.
But with Apple actually having made fairly substantial improvements in the iPad 2 with the addition of dual cameras, a 33% thinner enclosure, and processor and graphics enhancements, Berger's report takes the view of the next-generation iPad being an enhanced iPad 2 rather than a full iPad 3 update.
Regardless of the name attached to the rumored next-generation device, a shift to a higher-resolution display approaching "Retina" resolutions in the range of 250-300 ppi would of course be a substantial improvement even on its own, although it is unclear just what other enhancements would be included in the new iPad.