Duo: iPhone 5 release date arrives with Sprint iPad 2 ahead of iPad 3

So much for the iPad 3 arriving this year alongside the iPhone 5. But the latter isn’t the only new Apple hardware whose release date is in 2011. Sprint, Apple’s new iPhone partner, is set to launch its own iPad 2 instead. If the iPad 3 were imminent, the carrier would instead be waiting for its arrival. The report from CNET, if true, brings to a seeming end the will-they or won’t-they saga of whether the iPad 3 might arrive just before the holidays instead of the traditional spring 2012 timeframe. Instead the iPhone 5 is on its own for 2011. Although Apple most often goes a full year between mobile device generations, a number of factors have led some to believe Apple would yank the iPad 2 after a mere seven months in favor of a new generation. This news does not, however, kill off the possibility of an iPad 2S type of spec-bump before the year is over.

iPhone & iPad development

The Sprint news echoes the last time Apple gained a new iPhone partner. Verizon began selling the iPad in advance of the Verizon iPhone 4 release date as well. However, in that instance Verizon was selling the non-3G iPad bundled with a Verizon Mifi hotspot device. This report has Sprint selling its own iPad 2 with built-in Sprint mobile networking. That it’s a "2″ and not a "3″ is bound to disappoint those who were expecting an iPad 3 to arrive this year with the iPhone 5. After the iPad 2 turned to to be a mere spec bump with a handful of new features and a slimmer body with no revolutionary new features or redesign, many were expecting Apple to deliver the "real iPad 2", the ambitious one which the company had surely been working on since spring of 2010 or before, heading into the holidays…

Apple’s other seeming motivation for changing up the iPad release date schedule was so it could avoid the scenario last year in which some consumers put off iPad purchases during the holiday season amid "When is the new iPad coming?" talk. By shifting the iPad to a fall release date alongside the iPhone 5, Apple could turn things to its advantage, changing the sentiment to "A new iPad just launched, now is a great time to buy one as a gift." The news of a Sprint iPad 2 model points to the iPad 3 not arriving until after the new year, leaving the device on its current annual upgrade schedule. However, that doesn’t mean the iPad can’t still be revved this year…

Apple could find middle ground by revving the iPad 2 into an "iPad 2S" type of model, with better specs along the lines of capacity or battery life, and making a comparatively quiet changeover even as the iPhone 5 announcement grabs all the headlines. The move would allow Apple to push a "new iPad" to market going into the holidays and mitigate "When is the iPad 3 coming out?" talk among holiday shoppers. For all that is known, the "Sprint iPad 2″ could in fact be a Sprint iPad 2S, with Verizon and AT&T also getting their own iPad 2S models. It’s not clear what the device would actually be called, however, as iPad 2S is a moniker created by those who are hoping it’ll arrive. As usual, Apple has had nothing to say on the subject of a new iPhone 5 or iPad.

Source: beatweek

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