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Apple may have surprise second 2011 iPad update

updated 08:25 pm EST, Wed February 9, 2011

Apple said to have another iPad update in fall

Apple may get the edge on rivals by having two iPad updates in one year. Following a purely speculative mention by John Gruber on Wednesday, a separate rumor asserted that the imminent refresh would be followed up by a "big fall surprise" that would be a second model. What it would entail wasn't given to TechCrunch but might be the 2048x1536 display for which prototypes have been circulating but which was thought to be too early for the spring model.

The reasons and many of the other details aren't known, but Apple would have a number of incentives to have a second update in 2011. A fall launch, such as at its September music event, would let it re-sync the iPad's annual schedule to better put it closer to the holiday season.

Competition could be the primary issue. Although most now see Apple shipping devices once a year, the company has had a history of upgrading more quickly when competition was still tougher. The first few years of the iPod saw it updating roughly twice a year, usually to upgrade capacity or to roll out a minor update. The iPad is facing much stiffer opposition from the outset and will have to go against multiple dual-core, dual-camera tablets within weeks of when it ships, including the BlackBerry PlayBook, LG G-Slate and Motorola Xoom. A fall update could catch many of these off-guard. Many of them operate on an even more rigid yearly schedule that tends to center around events at the start of the year that they don't control, such as CES or this coming week's Mobile World Congress.

The upgrade could lead to advantageous timing for hardware upgrades, such as the higher resolution display as well as quad-core processors or graphics. Sony's NGP is shipping in a similar timeframe with just such an upgrade in store. Apple could have two or more months of lead time on opponents or prevent anyone shipping later in the year from upending its current market share.

by MacNN Staff



  1. jpellino

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Gruber says it's pure guesswork.
    Siegler is spouting hearsay.
    By noon tomorrow the NYT will be saying that other people are saying things.
    And so on.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    John Gruber

    Should be Apple's next CEO.

    He thinks he's God's gift to technology. Perfect fit.

  1. chippie

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple Must Update The ipad

    or finally introduce the 7 inch model before Christmas to get a lot of free press and holiday advertising. In addition to fighting like h*** to avoid being reduced to 33% market share. If they don't want to make a liar of Jobs maybe the 7 incher will be 6.9 or 7.2 inches. Of course the real wow moment will be the eventual introduction of a 10 inch or larger running full blown OSX Lion, at $999 or above. The ipads are going to stratify like the ipod line.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'd like to see the tablet competition get caught

    its pants around its ankles and trying to sprint at the same time. I don't see how any company is going to catch up with Apple in the tablet race unless consumers are willing to settle for any cheap tablet that comes along. Were not even talking about whatever relatively small edge the iPod had over competitors. Now it comes down to Apple's entire iOS ecosystem, global retail chain and economy of scale. The iPod never had that much leverage.

    Most of the tablet vendors that Apple is going up against have smaller market caps than Apple has reserve cash. Apple can purchase tens of millions of components up front and in cash for their entire iOS product lineup. They can dedicate a couple of factories just for assembly of one product. Imagine spending $5 billion dollars for components at the drop of a hat. It's easy when you're pulling in $10 billion dollars in reserve cash per quarter. It's totally insane the cash power Apple has.

    I don't know about this fall upgrade and I don't think it's likely or necessary, but Apple certainly could AFFORD to do it. If iPad 2 demand goes off the charts, Apple could put the competition away for keeps with a fall upgrade to Retina Display iPads and one of their home-brew ARM processors. I don't want Apple to do it. In my opinion, a yearly upgrade is spot on for consumers. I don't want early Apple buyers to feel like they're being rushed to upgrade or their devices losing value faster than once a year.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. facebook_Jeffrey

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2011


    another fine comment

    From the idiot parade

  1. samirsshah

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Half yearly updates for next two years (iPhone, iP

    will put Apple at No. 1 spot, if she sells older models at very discounted prices. She may also want to give her loyal customers an incentive to upgrade (iTunes gift voucher?)

  1. ASathin8R

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Just like

    @wrenchy is God's gift to the rest of us?

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Why on earth would anyone listen to or believe anything that Gruber has to say? Does the phrase click-wh*re suggest anything?

  1. samirsshah

    Joined: Dec 1969


    While Apple is in listening mood...

    What is the one thing Apple can do with her cash that will give enormous returns?

    What can these multi-core chips used gainfully for?


    I have told once and I want to tell again, Apple should buy Nuance at any price in the same way I told Google to buy Twitter at any price. It even makes sense to buy Nuance for purely defensive reasons (just to compete evenly with Google and Microsoft). Heck, it may even make sense to buy her for her patent portfolio in speech.

    Apple should buy Nuance and pour money to develop speech for all the world's significant languages.

    This is the technology that can be a strong USP for buying a phone above all others. Three years down the road I will be ready to pay two times more for a phone that understands Gujarati speech rather than the one that does not, Rs. 5,000 vs. Rs. 2,500. Do you want to leave such a strong USP to Google and Microsoft?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    So some guy reads a speculation (not even a rumor) on one web site, basically reiterates it, and magically we've got 'confirmation'!

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