Reliable sources told us about the upcoming launch of the Apple iPad 2: the first or second Saturday in April will see the first sales of Apples new tablet. The iPad 2 will sell US-only for three months, and Apple Store-only for up to half a year. In July, more countries will follow. Walmart, Best Buy and Co. maybe have to wait until October until they are allowed to sell Apples new tablets.
The iPad 2 is going to ship with retina display, USB port and two cameras. While the features meet the expectations, the release dates don’t: frustration overseas is expected, as shorter delays in the international roll out of the iPhone 4 and the first iPad were already highly disappointing for Apples customers and fans outside the US. Apple will continue to sell the iPad 2 exclusively after the three months’ period: retailers like WalMart, Best Buy and others have to wait up to three months longer. Apple will sell the iPad 2 in its own stores exclusively for 3 to 6 months.
Longer delays than ever: 2010, the iPad launched at April 3rd a Saturday, too in the USA. Little less than two months later, Germany, Mexico, Hong Kong and six other countries followed. In an even more exclusive “Club of Countries” the iPhone 4 launched after its debut in the USA: only Germany, UK, France and Japan were part of the “second wave” of iPhone 4 sales.
Regarding the features, no surprises were unveiled – two cameras are expected, “retina” on the iPad won’t mean same dpi-resolution as on the iPhone 4, but a display with no more visible pixels when used in “normal” distance. USB at last: the iPad 2 will connect to a USB port as its predecessor did.
The revealings add up to the information leaked from Apples component suppliers. Foxconn is expanding its manufacturing capacities, but won’t be able to reach its planned levels of iPad shipments from the beginning of the mass production of iPad 2 devices, which will start in February. Display manufacturers are struggling to meet the demands of Apple as well as of its competitors on the tablet market. Caused by missing display manufacturing capacities, AMOLED was a non-opportunity for apple with the iPad 2.