Wednesday, March 2nd, might be a day like any other for regular folks out there, but it is marked with a smile in the calendar of the Apple aficionado. Yes, in an unusual display of openness, the company emailed invitations to press uncovering what we'll see tomorrow – the iPad 2. Cupertino couldn't be more specific – it attached an image with a calendar peeled back to show the tablet. This will finally put an end to the endless churn of the rumor mill and give us some details. But with so many rumors around even we started to doubt what's the next iPad going to look like, so let's write off the wishful thinking and break down all the realistic expectations for the next-gen iPad.
iPad 2: similar screen, more powerful guts
1. Whispers about a significantly improved resolution have been scrapped, so we'll most probably be looking at the same 1024 x 768 resolution on a 9.7-inch screen. While this might not be the best of news, a higher resolution would require even more processing power and bring the price tag up. In all honesty, we love the $499 price of the Wi-Fi only iPad.
2. The iPad 2 is also getting a camera – a front-facing one, perfect for FaceTime calls, is the most likely addition, but there is some chance of seeing a rear snapper as well.
3. Images showcasing the new design of the iPad 2 are all over the place. Even though they are by no means official, it seems that some ideas like the flattened-out back, slightly thinner body and revamped speakers on the back we'll see on the tablet.
4. Could we see a white version of the tablet? Last minute whispers suggest we could, but this is something we doubt given Apple's problems with a white iPhone 4.
1. What other tablets are delivering is more power, and the iPad 2 will too. We expect to see an Apple A5 chip, which will provide nearly 4 times the graphics power of the previous A4.
2. Double the memory at 512MB of RAM.
3. No microSD slot. Well, we all wanted it, but it seems that it just wouldn't fit into what Apple is.
Preparations for the launch of the tablet have already started, but don't expect just the product. The next version of iOS will probably be introduced as well, paving the way for the next iPhone. In addition, Apple usually gives a brief look at the most interesting software making use of the new features, so expect to see a lot of powerful apps. Of course, we'll be covering the event from San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center where it will all take place, so stay tuned!