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.