Beefier iPad 2 May Accompany iPad 3 Next Week

Reports from Apple's supply chain suggest that the company will introduce an 8GB iPad 2 next Wednesday as well as a third-generation iPad.

Apple sent out official invitations to a press event in San Francisco that will take place next Wednesday, March 7. But the possibility that Apple might launch something else other than the iPad 3 has been considered, with some suggesting that a new Apple TV or even a smart TV set could be announced on the day.

Opinion: What to expect at Apple's March press event

However, Digitimes is reporting that Apple will launch not just two different versions of the iPad 3 -- 16GB and 32GB models -- but an 8GB iPad 2 as well, citing anonymous sources.

Currently, you can buy an iPad 2 with either 16GB, 32GB or 64GB capacities, so as well as seemingly dropping the 64GB model in the third generation, Apple is going to create a new, low-price low-capacity option, if the report is correct.

This is to fend off the expected glut of tablet PCs running Windows 8 that are expected to hit the market this summer when Microsoft officially launches the next version of its OS. Microsoft opened up the Developer Preview of Windows 8 this week.

As for dropping the 64GB model, this could be due to a relative lack of sales compared to the lower-capacity models, concerns over the price or perhaps even an indicator that there will be external storage options -- if the report is correct, that is.

The Digitimes report also states that Apple has "high hopes" for the iPad 3 and has doubled its original order for units of the new device from its Chinese-based suppliers.

This story, "Beefier iPad 2 May Accompany iPad 3 Next Week" was originally published by Macworld U.K..

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At a Glance
  • The iPad 2 remains a solid choice, thanks to its lower price and strong app choices. Read the full review

    Pros

    • Slimmer design with curved edges is easier to hold
    • Comparatively light at 1.3 pounds

    Cons

    • Tediously slow to charge
    • Relies on PC link to iTunes for updates, backups
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