The iPad 2 is coming.
It looks for all the world as if it's going to be launched on 2 March (see what they've done there?) if various press invitations seen around the internet inviting people to an event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts are to be believed (below).
And it's probably fair to believe them, as the location is where Apple has unveiled most of its head-turning products and the timing would fit in nicely with the usual updates the firm issues on its product ranges.
Furthermore, as noted yesterday, many resellers of iPad 1.0 are offering sizeable discounts on the product or have run out of stock, suggesting they are awaiting a newer version to turn up.
The iPad 2 is expected to address many of the oversights on the first product, that cynics would say were deliberately left out so people would buy the iPad 2.
This includes front and back-facing cameras, a USB slot, HD video playback and the ability to insert an SD card, all of which will no doubt have aficionados rushing back to the shops to part with another £500+ for the shiny new toy.
If 2 March is indeed the release date many manufacturers such as Samsung, Motorola and HP will be pleased they managed to beat the device by several weeks with their own tablets, such as the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Xoom.
Nevertheless they will know that, even if the iPad 2 doesn't live up to the hype, Apple will still have all eyes on its product launch in the way its rivals can currently only dream of.
Whether Steve Jobs, currently on leave from the firm for health reasons, is the man to announce the product remains to be seen, but it would be a significant break with tradition if the great man does not put in an appearance.
So, until 2 March then...
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