updated 01:10 am EDT, Tue August 2, 2011
Current iPad 2 would become 'consumer' iPad
Reviving rumors from last month that Apple was set to create a second tier of iPad with doubled resolution, HD cameras, a higher price tag and "pro" apps, analyst Ashok Kumar at Rodman & Renshaw has told his investors that he expects the "premium" iPad model to debut this quarter, claiming supply chain sources.
Kumar, quoted in a CNet report, says that Foxconn parent company Hon Hai has already begun production on the incremental upgrade, which would be aimed at publishing, video and other "vertical" market segments. The current model would be kept in production as the "consumer" option, with a third-generation iPad coming out in March or April, following the now-traditional yearly release schedule.
Earlier rumors had included the possibility of iPad versions of Final Cut Pro X and Aperture as an example of the sort of "professional" application not yet seen on "consumer" iPads.
Kumar has a very mixed track record on advance leaks, which are usually based on supply-chain sources. He correctly predicted many of the components used in the original iPad before it was released and has since occasionally had advance knowledge of supplier changes, but also claimed a year ago that Apple would make a seven-inch version of the iPad, and that Nokia would produce an iPad-level tablet.
Apple has been known to be preparing system-level artwork for a future iPad release at double the current resolution, and is widely expected to upgrade the quality of the cameras in the iPad in its next iteration, but has otherwise done nothing that would signal a new model iPad that would be shipping within the next 60 days targeting professionals. The present iPad model and its iOS 4.x software have already penetrated 86 percent of the Fortune 500 and found wide grassroots support at the enterprise level, a popularity that is only expected to grow with the release of iOS 5 this fall. [via CNet]