In a storm of fast floating rumors, TechCrunch has now forward with a “trusted source” that says Apple’s current plan is introduce the iPad 3 this fall. Apple has not yet commented on the existence of the second generation of the iPad, much less the third. What is driving this new round of craziness?
You can blame John Gruber. In a wrap up post on HP’s event at which a fine looking tablet was announced Gruber wrote, “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.”
Gruber went out of his way to into that bit about the iPad 3 with, this is a guess. But that got some writers thinking and pressing their Apple contacts. One writer, MG Sigler, struck apparent gold: “We’ve now heard that this “fall surprise” is related to this would-be iPad 3. We don’t 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.”
The logic is looking two fold at this point, Apple’s fall event traditionally showed off iPods for the holiday buying season. iPods have been in decline and Apple may be looking to spiff up the fall event with some tablet goodness.
The other branch of reason lends itself to timing. This summer, we expect to see the Moto XOOM running Android, the just-announced HP TouchPad running webOS and the BlackBerry Playbook. That’s some serious competition that we expect will likely take a bite out of iPad sales. Apple surely sees tablets as a serious market now and might seize the fall event to keep consumers purchasing iOS products.
At this point, it’s anyone’s guess if Apple will deviate from their yearly intros to sneak something in.