Is It Time To Start Thinking About the iPad 2?

Spoiler Alert: Probably not, but rumors are already floating so let’s see what we can make of them. With folks like TJ Maxx selling the cheapest iPad for $100 off, it seems like we’re right at the edge of the next iPad iteration, probably occurring after CES in January. Apple obviously wants to milk holiday sales from her until after Kwanzaa, so there will be no new iPad before Q1 of 2011.

What will this magical new iPad include? Obviously they’re going to stick in a low-resolution front-facing camera. GizChina, above, found some potential mock-ups that included an iPhone 4-esque bezel and casing although I doubt Apple will abandon the current metal back simply because two huge sheets of glass – even Gorilla Glass – on a 9.7-inch device is probably a bad idea. I doubt a rear facing camera is of any use to the average tablet user but lord knows I’m sure someone will clamor for one so they’ll probably stick it on.

As for launch date, the earliest I’d suspect an announcement will be around or – and this is a stretch – during CES. This will, in turn, suck all the air out of CES as the tech press will leave the show to cover this new development, leaving the makers of other tablet devices alone and dejected.

What if you’re not a Mactard? Well, you may be in luck. Next year you’ll be able to play with the Blackberry Playbook as well as a whole slew of Android and potentially Chrome OS devices, putting the iPad and Apple on the defensive. That’s why this next refresh needs to come soon and needs to hit hard. This also means we can expect some fairly nice deals on Apple products in the next month so keep your eyes peeled.

via GizChina