iPad 2 is going to be pretty dull. Let's call it 1.5

On February 24, 2011

Ben Harvell is a freelance writer and former editor of iCreate magazine. He writes for a wide range of international technology magazines and websites including Macworld and MacFormat. He has written several books on consumer technology and blogs at benharvell.com. Ben reviews apps and has also commissioned his own. He’s also rather obsessed with Twitter and suggests you follow him.

We’re a year on from the announcement of the first iPad and the rumour mill is in overdrive. Currently bouncing around are leaked specs, analyst predictions, mockups and tips for the next generation of iPad, expected this April. Trouble is, none of them are that interesting.

Let’s look at what the next iPad isn’t going to offer first:

1.There’s no way it’ll include a Light Peak connection. Maybe the upcoming MacBook Pros but definitely not the iPad. Apple doesn’t want the port messing up its design and it’s going to hold out on the dock connector as the only method of transfer for as long as possible.

2. There won’t be an equivalent to the iPhone 4’s Retina Display in the iPad 2. Not without a major price hike and a big drain on battery life, two essential selling points for the iPad.

The lack of anything interesting has caused the rumour sites to almost forget about the upcoming iPad and move on to the iPad 3 already. Allegedly coming in September alongside an iPod refresh, most are pinning their hopes on the extended period of time bringing about better deals and developments that could see major updates including a Retina Display.

It’s almost as if, should there be a Q1 2011 iPad at all, it’ll be more of an iPad 1.5 than a second generation device.

On the edge of dead-cert speculation for the iPad 1.5 we have word of a different screen, with current rumours pegging less reflective glass. We’ll also see front-facing a camera for sure. Apple wouldn’t give up the opportunity to put FaceTime on more units.

Then we’re left with staple Apple product upgrades. The iPad 1.5 will be thinner and faster. Yawn.

A faster graphics processor, maybe some more storage space and a thinner unit will be nice but it’s nothing groundbreaking, especially given the torrent of tablets that finally appeared at this year’s CES and Macworld shows. Apple likes to wow the crowd with its latest products and, if the above turns out to be accurate, most jaws will remain a long way from the floor.

The iPad is well ahead in the tablet market and, at this stage, Apple can afford to tweak rather than reinvent. I might be wrong, but this iPad 3 in September better be pretty special or 2011 could be the year Apple loses its lead.