Sources: Is it iPad 1.5 or 2? Also, iPhone 5 And Fully Redesigned 2012 MacBook Pros
Several of our sources have piped up with a few interesting details in light of the upcoming MacBook Pro, iPad 2, and iPhone 5 announcements, which we’ll present here for your consideration.
* The February 2011 MacBook Pro is an incremental update to the prior aluminum unibody versions we’ve all seen before. Next year is the year when Apple will introduce an all new design for the MacBook Pro product family, which is already under development at Quanta in Taiwan. It’s being described as a big, “milestone” release for the Pro family, as compared with the speed bump features that will be introduced in tomorrow’s models.
* The iPhone 5 is on track for a June announcement, with worldwide shipments by August or earlier—obviously the U.S. will be the earliest to receive units, followed by other countries thereafter.
* Two reliable sources are suggesting that next week’s “iPad 2” event has some serious cliffhanger potential—as in, consumers may not see the real “iPad 2” for some time. There’s apparently some truth to the reports of production problems with the new model, and as a result, no one is really sure at this point what Apple is going to be shipping as the “iPad 2,” or when.
To be clear, sources continue to claim that the “iPad 2” mockup that we were the first to spot last month represents the redesigned rear casing of an upcoming iPad. Dozens of accessory makers have already created early cases meant to fit this new rear shell, which has different dimensions and radiuses than the original iPad’s. Some of these companies are actively sending out e-mails claiming that they’re ready to ship these cases right now.
But last August, Apple was rumored to be working on a more modest incremental update to the iPad that was going to add a front-facing camera, with a possible release date of right before the holidays. That last part sounded crazy—impossible, really—even though it did sound like Apple was testing something that wasn’t quite an iPad 2, but was actually more like an iPad 1.5, sort of like the third-generation iPod touch. (You remember that one, right? The one where Apple pulled the rear camera at the last minute due to production problems.) If the real “iPad 2” wasn’t ready in time, Apple could just release the mildly tweaked version as a stop-gap measure. This would explain John Gruber’s “guess” that Apple is planning to release an “iPad 2” and an “iPad 3” this year; Apple, of course, would prefer that its customers always think they’re getting a full next-generation product rather than some half-step down the road to something better. (More on that, in a separate article.)
In any case, our sources aren’t sure whether Apple is going to release the iPad 1.5 now and call it the iPad 2, hold off a few months and release something dramatically better, or hold off a few months and release the iPad 1.5. The sources strongly believe that Apple cannot possibly ship enough truly “new” iPads to meet a late March or early April release date. One expects that Apple will only preview the next iPad at next week’s event, then release it widely around June. A price drop for the current model would keep sales flowing until then.
We’re going to say something we’ve said before: we trust our sources, but this is sort of hard to swallow. Even given all of the odd release date shakiness Apple has had with the white iPhone 4 over the past eight months, Apple’s track record on announcing and then shipping new products is pretty solid. Given that there’s a popular iPad available to purchase in stores right now, Apple would not spend a month leaking information on the new version, lowering expectations all the while, and then use a special event solely to tell people to wait three more months for the new product. Unless really serious and very last-minute production problems forced it to use a price drop or similar step to keep customers happy before a refresh. We’ll know what’s up next week, and we’ll let you know what we hear between now and then.
If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.
- Apple’s UK tax bill under scrutiny
- Apple lays out ‘differential privacy’ plan for data collection
- Report: New iPhone’s space gray to be ‘much darker color’
- Incipio to acquire Skullcandy
- Apple confirms iOS 10 kernel was left open to improve performance
- Apple leaves iOS 10 kernel open to scrutiny
- Judge throws out ‘Error 53’ lawsuit against Apple
- Chinese company in iPhone patent fight is all but defunct
- Apple adds nine more apps to universal search in Apple TV
- WSJ: iPhone to see modest changes this year, eliminate headphone jack
- Phiaton BT 460 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
- Zagg Slim Book for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Element Case Ronin for iPhone 6/6s
- JBL Clip 2 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
- Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT Wireless On-Ear Headphones
- Catalyst Case for iPad mini 4
- Jaybird Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
- Zagg Flex Arc Wireless Earbuds + Speakers
- Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7NC SonicPro Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation
- Twelve South BookBook for 12.9” iPad Pro
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app