Apple iPad event fuels speculation
Apple will once again be the focus of the technology world’s attention this evening as it announces the successor to the iPad, its popular tablet computer.
As always with Apple, details of the announcement in San Francisco remain a mystery.
The company’s typically tight-lipped approach serves to increase speculation around its product launches and the internet has been buzzing with rumours about the new iPad for the last few months.
Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, is on medical leave from the company so his place on stage is likely to be taken by Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing. It was Schiller who took over Apple’s new product events during Jobs’ last medical absence in 2009.
It’s thought that the iPad 2 will be lighter and thinner than its predecessor, with at least one camera, to allow videoconferencing, and improved performance.
Other rumours include the suggestion that Apple will launch a smaller, 7-inch version of the iPad and that the iPad could contain a ‘near-field communication’ (NFC) chip to allow wireless payments. However, neither possibility is considered very likely.
Carolina Milanesi, of analysts Gartner, said that she did not expect radical changes. “I think it will be evolution rather than revolution,” she said.
She added that the company will consider any upgrades carefully so as not to increase prices. An NFC chip, she said, makes more sense in a smaller device, such as the iPhone, than in a device as large as the iPad.