Updated: Several sources (look here and here) are now reporting that Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) is not facing any delays with production of the iPad 2. The device will be launched at an event in San Francisco on March 2. The news caps days of intense speculation over the device, as Verizon on Thursday gears up to launch the Motorola (NYSE: MOT) Xoom tablet, seen as the first Android device that will really provide viable competition against the iPad. Original post follows below.
Tablets were nearly as much of a story at Mobile World Congress as handsets were—a huge leap considering how small market share is today, and how relatively new they are on the market. This week there are even more reports and speculation about what will be in the next devices from Apple, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Android and Microsoft, and when we might really get to see these things on the market.
—iPad 2: Sightings and hints of Apple’s next-generation iPad have been cropping up here, there and everywhere, and everyone now seems to take as fact the thinner design, dual cameras, and better speakers and processors.
But when will we see them? Here’s one indirect clue: stock of the current crop of devices is, apparently, running out. 9to5 Mac is taking this as a sign that a new iPad could be coming as soon as next month. In Europe, it notes, reseller Carphone Warehouse has run out of its 64 GB WiFi model, and all 3G models; while T-Mobile and Orange have reduced the price on their 16 GB 3G/WiFi devices by half, to £99.99, for those buying them on two-year 3G contracts.
I’m inclined to be a bit cynical: these could be real shortages of finished lines (CPW) and a drive to shift stock before new devices arrive (the operators). But it could also be down to actual supply and production issues; two operators keen to drive sales after a lacklustre start to their subsidised iPad push. (Plenty of reports of slow sales for Orange around the holidays, but the operator has never confirmed directly.)
We’ll only know for sure next month. In the meantime, real fans can already start picking out their favorite color of case (pictured), or wait until June, if the report from Bloomberg—the device has now been delayed until June because of production delays at manufacturer Foxconn—sounds more credible.
—Motorola Xoom: Meanwhile, we now have the latest teaser ad for the Xoom, a 15-second clip (embedded below) that embodies the Xoom sales slogan—“grab it and it grabs you”—and continues the sci-fi, brave new world theme introduced in the Xoom ad effort for the Super Bowl.