Daring Fireball’s John Gruber recently gave us his opinion on where Apple is going with its incredibly popular iPad. However, unlike all of the iPad 2 rumors that have been circulating recently, Gruber has instead speculated on Apple’s third-generation device iPad 3 — suggesting that it could be released when the iPod line is updated in September of this year:
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.
With regards to the second-generation iPad, Gruber believes Apple will unveil the device “fairly soon,” possibly March with an April shopping date, and that it will be faster, “with more RAM, maybe more storage, thinner and lighter, a front-facing camera.”
In a subsequent post following his claims, Gruber clarifies that his suggestions for the iPad 3 are merely guesswork, and he also expands on his predictions for the third-generation device. Instead of being a successor to the iPad 2, Gruber suggests that the device to launch in the fall may instead be a “pro” or “HD” version — kind of like an iPad 2.5.
Unfortunately, other than possibly hinting at a higher resolution display with the “HD” name, Gruber doesn’t actually go in to any more detail about the features and specs the third-generation device may hold.
Backing up Gruber’s claims was a report from TechCrunch, which cites a “very good” source who says Apple is planning a “big fall surprise” for the iPad. The post read:
… 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.
Unlike Gruber’s post, the TechCrunch one did tease what the third device’s differences may be, albeit with a simple mention of “a Retina-like display” and “another, slightly smaller form factor.”
Sure, the idea of another two iPads this year is an exciting prospect, but what does that mean for keen Apple fans who are eager to possess the latest iDevice release? With many looking forward to an imminent iPad 2 announcement, how many will upgrade just to be let down a few months later when a new device is released?
I find that one of the great things about buying a newly released product from Apple is that you can be fairly sure your device will be the latest for near enough a year until a new one comes along. However, if the company starts updating popular products more regularly, that comfort isn’t there anymore, and you’ll always wonder how far around the corner an upgrade will be.