Word on the street, specifically Wall St., is that Apple has an “iPad 2 Plus” in the works, with plans to ship in late 2011. Go ahead and grab a salt-shaker now, because despite the truckload of congruent predictions, I still don’t quite buy it. FBR Capital Markets’ Craig Berger claimed earlier today that Apple has asked for component suppliers’ quotes to build the iPad 2 Plus, which is supposedly a “marginally different device.”
Screen resolution is the big adjustment here, with Berger relaying a possible shift to around 250-300 pixels per inch. The iPad 2 currently has a resolution of 132ppi, while the iPhone 4 display touts 326ppi. Other enhancements are about as uncertain as the validity of this rumor.
In spite of my cynicism, I’m not going to completely rule it out. Berger isn’t the only analyst who sees an iPad 2 Plus as a possibility. Last month, the Economic Daily out of Taiwan claimed Apple would have a higher-res iPad out by the fourth quarter. DigiTimes also relayed news that component suppliers were gearing up for iPad 3 and iPhone 5 production. Most poignantly, Cult of Mac claimed to have an actual Apple employee with knowledge of the situation, who stated that an iPad 3 would launch later in the year.
On the other hand, plenty of analysts agree that it’s simply too soon to launch an iPad successor, especially given the ridiculous success that the iPad 2 continues to enjoy. Even Berger himself admits that the iPad 2 Plus isn’t exactly a sure thing. “While we find this new commentary interesting, we await more confirming data points from other supply chain contacts before fully believing a new iPad device is coming in 2011,” he added. Plus, analysts say things. Just a couple weeks ago, a Deutsche Bank analyst by the name of Chris Whitmore predicted that Apple would launch, not one, but two iPhone models in September. I don’t know about you, but it sounds like malarkey to me.