Who needs iPad 2 rumors when there is iPad 3 to talk about?
The iPad 2 might be in production but it hasn’t even been announced yet. Regardless, that’s not stopping the hungry Apple rumor mill from talking about the model to be released after that… iPad 3.
Talk of iPad 3 started when John Gruber of DaringFireball made a passing reference to the future device, which was quickly picked up by AlleyInsider and TechCrunch who cited that as a source for the products release schedule.
In return, DaringFireball wrote a lengthy post on the matter, part of which is him saying that some take his guesswork a little too seriously:
Now when I make actual guesses, some people (not unreasonably) think I’m being coy and actually releasing information that I know. Henceforth, when I say I’m guessing, I’m really guessing.
In other words, Gruber is not channeling Steve Jobs and Apple’s super secret release schedule from a crystal ball, although that is amusing imagery to consider.
Lacking that clairvoyance, Gruber instead spells out what he thinks is a logical release schedule for the iPad, which is basically that after the upcoming iPad 2 update, a September release alongside the iPod make more sense:
I don’t think April is a particularly good month for an annual iPad release. I don’t think it’s a particularly bad month, either, but it doesn’t make as much sense as September. April is four months into the new year, but still feels like “early” in the year. That leads to whispers and rumors during the holiday season that people should wait. Shipping new hardware in April adds another milestone to the iOS release schedule, too.
Thus, my gut feeling is that Apple will move the iPad to a September release schedule, alongside the iPods.
How would moving to a September release work? Today, he further explained his thoughts on a 3rd iPad release this year:
One thing I don’t think I made clear enough yesterday is that if I’m right that Apple will make a second iPad product announcement later this year, such a thing would be in addition to the imminent iPad 2 — not a replacement. Like when the iPod family expanded to include the iPod Mini — the Minis didn’t replace the existing iPods, they were an expansion of the product family.
Now this theory I like more, the idea that another iPad will join, not replace, the existing family members, maybe as a smaller 7″ iPad model or a ‘pro’ model with a retina display. This could broaden the product line and makes Apple’s arsenal more competitive in the tablet wars.
Is this guesswork and speculation worthy of the surge in iPad 3 chatter that is flooding the web? That’s debatable, but Gruber is known to be somewhat well connected to Apple. At the same time, he can also just have an opinion and take educated guesses like the rest of us, and there’s nothing wrong with that either.
But enough about iPad 3, where’s the iPad 4?