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iPad 2 a Ho-Hum Update, iPad 3 the One to Wait For?

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Rumors are coming in on the eve of the iPad 2′s launch that the iPad 2 might not live up to all of the hype. It’s not that the iPad 2 will be a poor device, but rather the fact that a third-generation iPad may be released within months, ahead of the busy Christmas shopping season.

According to an unnamed Apple employee that spoke confidentially with Cult of Mac, the iPad 2 will be a rather tame speed bump update rather than something that will be cutting edge. If that’s the case, we still expect iPad sales to continue at a brisk pace and a portion of first-gen iPad users to trade up to the iPad 2. If there isn’t a huge differentiation between the iPad and iPad 2 Apple may miss out on a post-announcement iPad sales boom.

The last quarter of the year is the busiest for consumer electronics and it would make sense for Apple to put its best foot forward with a completely revamped iPad closer to then. However, a new crop of tablets are besting the first-gen iPad’s raw performance and are shipping with features that many consumers crave, such as dual cameras.

According to the Cult of Mac’s source, the iPad 2 had some issues on the road from the drawing board to final release.

As I outlined in our iPad 2 predictions roundup, the iPad 2 will likely have a faster processor, dual cameras and have a slightly new industrial design. Those features will likely prove enough for the geeks to upgrade to the iPad 2 and keep most consumers’ eyes on the it rather than the competition. The biggest move Apple could make would be to drop the entry-level price of the iPad 2 to $399 or $449. The entry-level price is what sticjs in most consumers’ minds and would widen the gap between the iPad and competitors like the the Motorola Xoom.

Xavier Lanier is the publisher of Gotta Be Mobile and a photographer. He uses too many devices to count, but his current favorites are the iPhone 5s, HTC One, Nikon D800 and Sony RX 100M II. You can follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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