Apple iPad 2 rumours have been circulating the Web for weeks now, and as the world descends on the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), one of the biggest events in the technology calendar, speculation continues to grow.
Tongues started wagging late last year, after Chinese manufacturers released new cases, allegedly designed for the new model.
Japanese blog, MacOtakara, fuelled rumours after posting information from "sources in China" that revealed the iPad 2 would be smaller and slimmer than the current model, and feature a curved back, much like the iPod Touch. These anonymous whispers also predicted that the new iPad would have a smaller bezel around its edge, a better speaker system, and possible a front-facing camera.
Just yesterday, Engadget writer, Paul Miller, confirmed that there may be some truth to the hype, after spotting an iPad 2 case at CES, complete with the same revealing cut-outs plus a mock-up of the new device.
"It was so intriguing that we asked to put our own iPad inside, which is when we were told it wouldn't fit, since the case was designed for the next iPad. Indeed, the mockup that we found inside the case was a tad bit slimmer than the first-gen iPad, with a taper leading to the edges that reminds us of the iPod touch, and a home button positioned nearer the bottom edge," he said.
Apple are not attending CES, so confirmation about what features the iPad 2 will have and when it will be released is still a way off. But, if Apple's past product cycles are anything to go by, we could be able to get our hands on the new gadget with whatever enhancements it has to offer in April.
The first Apple iPad was released in the US on April 3, 2010, and was available in Australia a few weeks later. Three million iPads were sold within the first three months of the US launch, and despite a wave of competing tablets, the popularity of the device shows no sign of waning. Deutsche Bank analyst, Chris Whitmore, predicts that Apple will sell 28 million iPads in 2011.