While commenting about the HP TouchPad, Daring Fireball's John Gruber wrote, "Summer feels like a long time away. If my theory is right, theyre not only going to be months behind the iPad 2, but if they slip until late summer, they might bump up against the release of the iPad 3. And not only did they announce this with a distant ship date, they did it with no word on pricing."
TechCrunch has just followed up on Gruber's article with some information of their own.
A few days ago, we heard from a very good source that Apple was assembling the pieces for a "big fall surprise". While intriguing, that could obviously mean anything. But the "surprise" part clearly means it's something beyond the regular iPod/iTunes (and perhaps MacBook Air) refreshes that Apple does in the fall. Still, that leaves a lot of room for guesses. An actual Apple television? iTunes in the cloud? A touchscreen iMac? Who knows?
Well, until today. Weve now heard that this "fall surprise" is related to this would-be iPad 3. We dont have any more concrete information beyond that. But, as of right now, the plan is apparently to release one iteration of the iPad in the next few weeks. And then blow the doors open with another new version in the fall.
At this point its unclear whether the iPad 2 will be a minor or major bump. So far rumors suggest a thinner device, with a faster processor, and two cameras. This would be considered by many as minor changes.
If Apple does release two iPads this year it will be to maintain its huge lead over the competition.
We will update you as more information becomes available.