Apple set tongues wagging with the teaser for the iPad 2 that was sent to tech publications recently. With trademark simplicity and style, the teaser featured a calendar page with ‘March 2’ on it, folded outward at the top corner to show a glimpse of the iPad 2. The advert carried the subtitle ‘Come see what 2011 will be the year of’ indicating that Apple have quiet confidence in what they have to offer.
The iPad was released a little more than a year ago and it’s deficiencies have been well-documented. Hence it comes as no surprise that the Internet has been abuzz with rumours surrounding the iPad 2’s specifications. They range from the predictable to the bizarre! Without further ado, here are some of them:

Expected:

1. iPad 2 to be slimmer, lighter: This is a rather obvious one. iPhones have progressively gotten thinner with each new release and expect the same from it’s tablet counterpart. Of course this means that the prices will drastically increase but Apple fanatics don’t care about prices right?
2. iPad 2 to have 2 cameras: There is a high possibility that the iPad 2 will include FaceTime which requires a front-facing camera for video-conferencing.
3. Dual-cores: More computational power for ye iPad 2 users. Looks like it will include a dual-core processor to compete with the likes of RIM’s Playbook and Motorola’s upcoming tablet device.
4. iPhone 4 style Retina Display: The iPhone 4 introduced the new Retina display which packed more pixels per inch than traditional mobile displays. Thus text and graphics were smooth and clear when viewed at any size. The iPad 2 is bound to have this technology.

Maybes:

1. USB Port: There is a possibility that the iPad 2 will include a USB Port. The one glaring omission in the original iPad will thus be accounted for. But knowing Apple’s penchant for anti-piracy and their aversion to any sort of data transfer between devices, the question remains moot.
2. Increased storage: The iPad came shipped with 64 gigs of storage but to really compete in the tablet market, Apple needs to up the ante on the storage front especially with the high number of videos, magazines etc that come in iPad only versions. It makes sense to ship the new iPad with atleast double the storage of that of it’s predecessor.
3. Improved speakers: It seems that there is a possibility of the iPad 2 having improved, wide-range speakers that sit behind a wire-mesh. This ‘sounds’ like a good idea especially considering that the iPad is also marketed as a entertainment device on which videos can be viewed by a bunch of people.

The downside to these possibilities is that the price of the iPad 2 is going to skyrocket. Apple devices are rather pricey to begin with and a tablet with a dual-core processor, 128 gigs RAM and high-quality speakers is bound to burn a hole in one’s pocket.

Weird!:

1. 7-inch tablet: Proving indeed that size does matter, the 7-inch tablet rumour just won’t die. Even though Steve Jobs has totally ruled out the possibility of one, the rumours still persist.
2. Support for micro SD: No Apple device has previously has had a micro SD slot so it is not too likely that it will happen although it’s inclusion does potentially mean more storage.
3. No Home button: The Home button is all too familiar with users of the iPhone, iTouch and the iPad. So why scrap something that is now an essential part of the design of your devices? According to reports, Apple are interested in scrapping the Home button in favour of a multi-touch gesture that has the same functionality. Removing the Home button would mean more screen real-estate but i for one would prefer they retain it.

So those are rumours floating around regarding the launch of the iPad 2 on March 2nd. Till then, we only can wait and watch!