This rumor seems to be confirmed once again now by an Apple staffer, who allegedly said the iPad to be unveiled today pales in comparison with what will come in seven or eight months. The one today should just add dual-core processor, small rear camera and memory expansion slot, whereas the big hardware and design upgrade is expected in the fall.
“For the iPad 2 don’t get your hopes up too high. That’s all I’m going to say. They’ve had a number of problems along the way, and the third-generation iPad is the one to make a song and a dance about.”, the guy reportedly tipped.
It makes perfect sense, considering the march of dual-core tablets with Android 3.0 Honeycomb, which will chip away at Apple's tablet dominance. With the iPad 2 it will keep up with those, and, come holidays time, we'll be presented with something that most probably will be ahead of the curve, and in its turn cannibalize Android tablet sales during the holiday shopping craze.
Apple already disrupted its annual iPhone refresh cycle by issuing a version that works on Verizon's CDMA network, in order to milk as much sales as it could for six months or so, before the next iPhone is announced.
Whatever the reason, we are glad that things are progressing so fast, and we probably have Google to thank. The iPad 3 possibility first emerged in connection with Apple inking a deal with Samsung for its new PLS-LCD technology, which supports high resolutions, wider viewing angles, and is brighter than the current IPS-LCD in the iPad, plus much cheaper to produce. Sorry, no AMOLED display, Samsung will not be ready for mass producing 7" + of these any time soon.
The dual-core chipset will probably stay, but there are rumors that we might see a carbon fiber chassis to keep the weight in check. It is all speculative at this point, but one thing is for sure - the rumor mill will keep turning.