Rumour Roundup: Apple’s March 2 Special Event
- March 2nd, 2011
- Apple Rumour, iOS 5.x, iOS/SDK 4.0.x, iPad, March 2, 2011, MobileMe, WoA Feature Articles
- Alex Brooks
Tomorrow Apple will host an event for the media at the Yerba Buena Center for Arts in San Francisco, the event which was officially announced last week will also be simulcast to European members of the media at the BBC Television Centre in London. The London based event is rumoured to be hosted by Stephen Fry.
Apple’s March 2 event will begin at:
10:00AM – Pacific
11:00AM – Mountain
12:00PM – Central
01:00PM – Eastern
06:00PM – London
07:00PM – Paris
09:00PM – Moscow
02:00AM – Tokyo (Wednesday 3rd)
04:00AM – Sydney (Wednesday 3rd)
Apple has recently also offered video streams of events and is expected to do so again. The company has been known to wait until up to four hours before the event before revealing whether a video stream will be available.
Tomorrow’s special event is widely expected to see the unveiling of the second-generation iPad, but what can we expect from “iPad 2″ and will Apple unveil anything else alongside it? Read on for a complete roundup of rumours related to Apple’s March 2 Media Event.
A refresh of the iPad is almost guaranteed at tomorrow’s event, speculation about an iPad refresh has been rampant for some months now and Apple’s own media invitation includes a sneak peak of an iPad on them but what’s going to change?
The refresh is actually largely rumoured to be one of mediocre value, the iPad 2 as it has been dubbed will most likely get a little thinner with the edges being tapered in a shaper fashion than the current model. The next-generation iPad is also likely to pack a slightly faster processor, possibly named the Apple A5. Apple is expected to increase the amount of RAM from 256MB to 512MB and include a more powerful graphics processor.
The iPad 2 is also rumoured include a rear and front facing camera, a feature that many saw as big let down in the first-generation model.
Another heavily rumoured feature expected to arrive in iPad 2 is near field communication (NFC) technology that can send and receive information wirelessly over a distance of about 4 inches.
NFC has many uses but the most popular are the ability to pay small amounts for goods in shops acting as a debit/credit card. NFC is also applied to many transport systems around the world allowing money to be stored on an NFC device and debited by tapping onto gateways at transport locations.
One of the most debated features of this iPad refresh surrounded the display which has been rumoured to be higher in resolution; but recently those rumoured have seemed unfounded and the iPad is expected to retain its 1024×768 pixel 9.7-inch display. It is now believed that rumours of higher resolution displays, also known as “Retina displays” are actually likely to come to fruition with the release of a third-generation iPad later this year.
The iPad is not expected to see any increase in storage, nor see the inclusion of any kind of storage expansion like an SD card slot. The price points of the iPad are also not likely to change.
One element of the iPad’s release which hasn’t been detailed much is when we are likely to get our hands on the new iPad. A recent rumour from AppleInsider suggested that the iPad could go on sale almost immediately. Quoting people who have provided accurate information in the past the rumour site says that “at least one version of the refreshed device will be in transit to retail outlets during that briefing.”
Whilst it would remain plausible for Apple to begin shipping a refreshed iPad immediately it should be noted that a new model would have to receive Federal Communications Commission approval before going on sale, a process that is not easy to keep secret.
In the near future it is likely that we will see two new version of iOS, the first is iOS 4.3 which is currently in private developer testing, the second is iOS 5 which if going by Apple’s previous schedules will be released in the summer alongside a new iPhone.
Rumours point towards the release iOS 4.3 which has been in testing now since early January. It would make sense for Apple to discuss the new features of iOS 4.3 which would be presumably be available within a very close proximity to the event.
As for the release or even mention of iOS 5, that seems very unlikely. In the past two years Apple has set aside a special event in April just for the discussion of upcoming iOS releases, with a ship date of mid-summer.
MobileMe is the product that sits front and centre of many Apple rumours these days, the product which currently costs $99 year is considered by most to be expensive, contain far few features and have so much potential. The majority of rumours surrounding a MobileMe revamp focus on cloud storage with suggestions that Apple will enable all iTunes media to be stored in the cloud for access from any device.
A rumour recently surfaced following Apple pulling of retail boxes from stores that the revamp of MobileMe would go live as soon as tomorrow’s event, although based on the lack of credible word this seems unlikely.
In summary it seems very unlikely that Apple will pull any shockers out of the bag during tomorrow’s event. Expected is a refresh of the current iPad making it faster, thinner, lighter with built in cameras and NFC technology and running iOS 4.3. The refresh which will probably still go by the name iPad is expected to ship in close proximity to the event.
Any mentions of iOS 5 or MobileMe are not widely expected.