On Wednesday, Gruber wrote a short blurb on his blog in response to HP's announcement of the TouchPad (which will reportedly be released this summer):
"Summer feels like a long time away. If my theory is right, they're 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."
If you look closely, you'll notice that Gruber has casually dropped the words "iPad" and "3" in that post. Gruber is a rather well-known Apple writer, so this little slip didn't go unnoticed by the tech media. Business Insider immediately jumped on the comment, suggesting that the iPad 3 will indeed arrive by the fall of 2011--just six months after the iPad 2 is expected to arrive.
Gruber later posted an update on Daring Fireball, with detailed speculation on future iPad ship dates:
"So, here's my guess at Apple's iPad plans for 2011:
· An iPad 2, fairly soon. Say, a March announcement, shipping in the first week of April. Faster, more RAM, maybe more storage, thinner and lighter, a front-facing camera.1 Running iOS 4.3.
· iOS 5, announced at a developer event in March, shipping in June.
· iPad 3, shipping in September, announced at the annual iPod event. Running iOS 5.1, same as the next-generation iPod Touch."
Gruber believes that an annual September release date makes a lot more sense for the iPad, than does a January or April release date. Also, he's skeptical of the rumor that the new iPad generations will have both a front-facing and a rear-facing camera (yeah, so am I).