Apple's March 2 event is all but guaranteed to bring us the iPad 2, most likely with dual cameras and a revamped OS. It arrives two months after CES 2011, to a landscape littered with tablets from scores of manufacturers, most of them with one thing in common: they are running Google's Android OS. But only a handful of them run Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), the first Android tablet OS. Can tablets like the Motorola Xoom—the first Honeycomb device—take on the iPad?
If the past is any indicator, it doesn't look good. This has less to do with quality of product, however, and more to do with the manner in which the product is brought to the public.
The clear advantage Apple has over just about every competitor—except perhaps for RIM—is that it relies on no external manufacturers for its products. To clarify: of course Apple needs to farm out production of the components that make up its devices to OEMs, but when you see a new iPad, it is from Apple, running an Apple OS, for sale at the Apple store. The closest Apple comes to working with other companies is its partnerships with Verizon and AT&T for the iPhone and iPad. For the most part, however, Apple is its own, self-controlling entity. With no company—other than the carriers and OEMs— with which to coordinate, Apple can create a realistic product release timeline and stick to it.
It's been a year since Apple took the wraps off its first tablet. In those past 12 months, the iPad hasn't had too much serious competition, and has easily dominated the tablet market. But with the recent introduction of Google's tablet-specific Honeycomb Android OS on devices like the Motorola Xoom, the tablet space is finally starting to get interesting.
And while other companies like HP, Motorola, and RIM are releasing first-generation tablets, Apple is set to unveil its second-gen iPad tomorrow. The invites have been sent, and the blogosphere is bursting with all sorts of ideas about what the 'iPad 2' might look like. But as anyone who follows Apple knows, nothing is certain until it's unveiled on stage in San Francisco. Here are 11 ways Apple could knock it out of the park with its next iPad:
Add a Verizon 3G iPad
The fact that Verizon started selling the Wi-Fi-Only iPad with a Mi-Fi bundle back in October, and since the iPhone 4 landed at Verizon last month, we can't see a reason why the next iPad wouldn't be available on both AT&T and Verizon. There could be an existing exclusivity agreement where AT&T would get the iPad 2 first, and then Verizon would follow sometime later, but my fingers are crossed that this won't happen.
Even Better, Make it a 4G Verizon iPad
Verizon's 4G network has been up and running since December, and the first LTE phones are expected any day now. Also, if you buy a Motorola Xoom, it comes with the promise of a free future 4G upgrade. Why not the iPad 2? Hopefully, the accompanying data plan wouldn't be prohibitively expensive.
Apple has stopped production of its first-generation iPad in order to clear room on the shelves for the newest version of the device, which will likely be unveiled at a Wednesday press event, according to 9to5Mac.
Shipments of the original iPad have presumably stopped, the report said; once retailers sell out of the stock they already have, it won't be refreshed. 9to5Mac also cited some retailers that said they could sell out of iPads as early as today.
We're days away from Apple's March 2 press event, where Cupertino is widely expected to unveil its next-generation iPad. Not surprisingly, the rumor mill is still churning out stories, and today's tidbit is that Apple will unveil a white iPad.
Blog 9to5Mac got its hands on photos of what it says could be second-generation iPad parts - and the frame is white.
Of course, Apple has thus far failed to deliver on its promise of a white iPhone 4; the latest prediction is sometime this spring. Would it really unveil and start selling a white iPad before delivering the white iPhone 4? Or will both devices hit the market at the same time?
All our questions should be answered by Wednesday. For now, all we have is the wild speculation that happens before every big Apple event.
We've got the Verizon Wireless 4G Motorola Xoom, and in this episode we give you a nice, thorough walkthrough of the device. We show you the hardware, alongside a look at Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Get a look at the music player, YouTube for Android tablets, the front and rear cameras, multitasking, widgets, the built-in Google Books reader, and much more in our Xoom review. In case you missed it, we also have a video of our Motorola Xoom unboxing.
Yesterday we posted with certainty that Apple would be announcing the iPad 2 on March 2, a week from today. Today, Apple has confirmed that date. As you can see, their invitation to their March 2 event features an iCal icon peeling away to reveal an iPad behind it. Doesn't get much clearer than that, does it? As always, we'll have the full details live as the event happens. Anyone else crossing their fingers for some iOS 5 news to share the stage next week?
Earlier today, we let you know that we got our Motorola Xoom in-house so that you could hit us with your questions, and a little while after that, we hit you with our Motorola Xoom unboxing video. A few people have been asking for still images of the device, so we threw together a quick Xoom unboxing gallery. We'll be putting up a comparison between the Xoom and the iPad soon, and also be sure to check out our video walkthrough of the device, as well as our full Motorola Xoom review. Both are coming soon.
Gallery: Motorola Xoom unboxing gallery
We've got our hands on the Verizon Wireless version of the Motorola Xoom tablet. This Android 3.0 Honeycomb device supports Verizon's 3G and 4G LTE networks. In this video, we open up the Xoom and give you a look at the tablet hardware and accessories. Then, we powering it on to give you a look at the Xoom setup process. After entering in the Google credentials, we are up and running for a quick tour of the Honeycomb interface. This is just the unboxing, though, so stay tuned for a more thorough walkthrough of the device in the next episode of Bleeding Edge TV.
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We just got our hands on our Motorola Xoom review unit, and we're about to tear into it to give you a look at everything it offers. If you've got any questions about this Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet, feel free to leave them in the comments and we'll be sure to address them. As you can see by the box, we've got the 4G LTE-capable Verizon model here.
Rumors of the next iPad have been running rampant for a couple months now, and it looks like they'll all be put to rest next week. AllThingsD is reporting that Apple will be announcing the iPad 2 next week on March 2 in San Francisco, most likely at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Expect a thinner bezel, improved display, better sound, and cameras for FaceTime. In addition, we expect that the Qualcomm MDM6600 chip will find its way into the device, allowing it to operate on both AT&T and Verizon 3G networks. We also hope to hear about iOS 5.
The other big question is, will Steve Jobs be the one to take the lead at the announcement? As we know, he has been on medical leave since January, but he's been seen on campus and around Silicon Valley during that time, and also appeared at a dinner with President Barack Obama and other industry powerhouses last week.