While we previously reported a rumor that the Apple iPad 2 might not be shipping till June, there is now a story that says Apple has a firm date for the new iPad announcement on March 2. Coming from All Things D, a site very close to Apple, adds weight to this report. Kara Swisher says:
According to several sources close to the situation, the Wednesday date in a little more than a week is firm and will take place in San Francisco, the scene of many such Apple events.
She states that the site for the announcement could be the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, where Apple has previously made such announcements.
At the announcement we are likely to learn that the new version of the popular iPad will have a thinner form factor, better speakers, a front facing camera for video conferencing via FaceTime, and a faster processor. It could also come with more memory, a higher resolution display and possibly free Mobile Me service. The new versions will probably have a model that is Wi-Fi only and one for both Verizon and AT&T broadband wireless networking.
It is unlikely that the new iPad will have a full retina display, like the iPhone. Such a high resolution would make the display cost prohibitive. We also doubt that buyers will get a 4G version that runs on Verizon’s LTE network.
The last question is who will make the announcement with Steve Jobs on a second medical leave? The acting head of Apple is Tim Cook. He could do the heavy lifting at the event, but we would not be surprised if Jobs was on hand, possibly for a short “One more thing…” moment. Apple often saves a big part of their announcement for the very end when Jobs will say that they have “one more thing” to discuss.