Is March 2 iDay for iPad 2?

The unveiling date for iPad 2 was given today by Kara Swisher, who writes the BoomTown blog for the Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital

Apple will host on March 2 an event in San Francisco where the company is expected to announce the next version of its popular iPad tablet, according to a technology blogger at the Wall Street Journal.

The unveiling date for iPad 2 was given today by Kara Swisher, who writes the BoomTown blog for the Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital Web site. She cites "several sources close to the situation" who agree on the timing and location.

But one investment analyst report this week said the actual shipments of iPad 2 could be delayed two to three months, due to "production bottlenecks" at the main Chinese factory where the tablet is manufactured.

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Most analysts and pundits generally expect a range of incremental improvements and additions in iPad 2, but no radical changes (See "Apple reportedly cranking out iPad 2 tablets"). Predictions include: a thinner model, with some kind of improved display (though not a tablet version of the high resolution iPhone 4 "Retina Display"), a front-facing camera, and support for Apple's Facetime video chat over Wi-Fi. Some have speculated that it will use a new Apple CPU, while others insist Apple will simply tweak the existing chip to create some performance improvement.

Swisher notes that some reports have predicted iPad 2, or one version of it, will include a multimode chip from Qualcomm to allow the new tablet to run on either GSM or CDMA cellular networks.

Another big question, Swisher says, is whether the ailing Steve Jobs, now on medical leave from his post as Apple's CEO, will appear onstage for the announcement.

John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World.

Twitter: http://twitter.com/johnwcoxnww

E-mail: john_cox@nww.com

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