Two iPads in One Year? Apple’s Done It Before (updated)


Steve & iPad

As the fervor surrounding tomorrow’s big announcement builds, fanboys and fangirls are eagerly sitting around their computers gulping down all the latest iPad 2 rumors that the Internet has to offer. One of the popular rumors out there is that tomorrows iPad 2 unveiling will be a disappointing spec bump and that the real grand daddy of tablet computers, the iPad 3, will be unveiled later in the year (possibly in September if Gruber and others are correct).

Cult of Mac has published a number of articles supporting the idea that Apple will be releasing two iPads in 2011. While there have been a significant amount of doubters to this theory of two iPads being launched, one must take into account that such a move wouldn’t be completely unprecedented. I’m referring to the iPod Mini 2G vs. the iPod Nano in 2005.

If you remember your Apple history, Steve Jobs announced the iPod Mini in January 2004 and people were enamored with the size. Utilizing Microdrive hard drives, the Mini was significantly more portable that the original iPod and sales of the device skyrocketed. Then in February of 2005 Apple unveiled the second-generation iPod Mini. Within months the iPod Mini had become Apple’s most popular iPod selling more units than the 4G iPod Photo.

Unexpectedly, on September 7th 2005, only a few months after bringing the second gen iPod Mini to market, Apple shocked everyone by announcing the iPod Nano which officially replaced the new iPod Mini line. With the use of flash memory, the iPod Nano was drastically smaller than the iPod Mini but still packed all the same features. Instead of customers being outraged that their still shiny and new iPod Minis had become obsolete, people flocked in droves to get their hands on the marvelous iPod Nano. Perhaps a bit surprisingly, more iPod Nanos were purchased in 2005 than 4G iPod Classics or iPod Shuffles in that same year, and the device went on to become Apple’s most popular MP3 player for a number of years.

With all that in mind it’s fairly reasonable to say that while it may be a somewhat risky move to release the iPad 3 in 2011 (in regards to customer satisfaction), Apple has been here before and done it. Keep in mind that if Apple does decide to come out with a third generation iPad in September it will undoubtedly have to be quite a big leap forward in the same way that the iPod Nano was a huge leap into the future compared to the iPod Mini. All the rumors actually point out that the iPad 3 will be just that and blow competitors out of the water. So when Steve takes the stage in September to show off a sexy slab of metal and glass featuring a Retina Display, nicer camera, NFC, and 5000 other magical mind blowing features we hope you all won’t be incredibly shocked and pissed off that you bought the measly iPad 2 three months earlier. Either way, we’re in for some real treats this year from Apple and can’t wait to see what they have in store for us.

updated: I found this video of Steve Jobs introducing the iPod Nano talking about completely replacing the iPod Mini



  • Guoste

    Those rumors can’t be good for sales. I’m not sure if I want to spend almost a thousand bucks on a top of the line iPad 2 if there is a vastly superior one coming out just a few months later.

    I don’t see this happening really, but all these rumors make me hesitant.

  • John Petrillo

    With rumors like this I will hold off and so will all the 1st gen owners. I am on the fence. A true fanboy will get each one…LOL

  • Shameer Mulji

    I generally don’t take stock in most rumors but this one is starting to have some teeth. It’s definitely possible that Apple releases two iPads in one year. This is what POSSIBLY could happen;

    “iPad 2” :

    Faster A4 CPU – 1.5Ghz
    Faster GPU – SGX543
    512MB RAM
    FaceTime Camera
    rear camera
    CDMA / GSM
    Anti-glare screen (same resolution as iPad 1)

    “iPad 3” (Fall 2011) :

    A5 CPU (dual-core) – 1 to 1.2 Ghz
    Dual-core GPU
    1GB RAM
    FaceTime Camera
    Rear Camera w / flash
    CDMA / GSM / LTE
    “Retina” Display

  • Shameer Mulji

    This a reply to my initial post.

    If Apple releases an “iPad 3” this fall, as per John Gruber’s specualtion, I don’t think they will release it as a replacement for iPad 2 but will sell it alongside iPad 2 so consumers have a choice of an entry-level & a high-end iPad.

    Might actually be a smart idea.

  • Observer

    It would seem likely that if Apple truly is segmenting, that they would lower prices on Ipad2 in order to cripple upcoming Android Honeycomb tablets and the Web Os one from HP. By doing this with a reduced BOM cost they can lower their margins (slightly) make a minor bump in specs and at the same time grow the ecosystem larger… Then in September they can put the High Res higher tier solution in place.

  • engineering21

    I still find it funny that everyone believes these rumors. I think that the first order of business is to see what comes out tomorrow as far as an iPad 2 is concerned. Rumors about the iPad 3 will change by tomorrow night after considering the specs of the iPad 3. Yes, it may be possible for an iPad 3 this year, but come on people. Give it 24 hours before you truly decide your next action.

  • mirqamar

    the ipod nano release in september was probably to start the fall music events cycle. if ipad 3 is released in september, it is probably to migrate its release cycle to the fall with ipod and itunes and other music/cloud services. this leaves the new year to spring release cycle open for new product launches.

  • Shameer Mulji


  • George

    How is that a smart idea if the “entry level iPad” that was considered the high end model sells for almost 1000 bucks? Thats just a huge mess and cluster, totally not apple like and certainly not what I would consider a “smart idea”.

  • Andydudeman

    I really see Apple Inc. releasing two iPads per year for their cycle, spring and fall, although it’ll be more like the 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5 and so on. The redesign being breakthrough and thar refresh being a polished perfected model with minor enhancements. This will be the best way to hold the tablet market. With everyone releasing ‘iPad killers’ this will keep Apple leaps ahead of the competition, avoiding any ‘monopoly’ claims that apple has control of the majority of components and suppliers.

  • Shameer Mulji

    Why not? I can definitely see Apple releasing the following;

    iPad 2 (“Entry Level”)

    16GB & 32GB Storage
    WiFi Model going for $399 & $499
    Wifi + 3G Model going for $499 & $599

    “Retina” iPad Model

    32GB & 64GB Storage
    WiFi Model going for $599 & $699
    WiFi & 3G Model going for $699 & $799

    Apple has been spending billions to secure parts plus their supply chain is 2nd to none in this industry. If anyone can pull it off they can.

  • jambeekay

    I think with Tim Cook recently stating that they don’t want the iPhone to be just for the rich… it could now make sense the idea of two iPads in one year. Release the revised iPad 1 for 399$ and then just release an iPad Pro for 599$ and up. This would push anyone look for a cheap tablet including those who currently own to go blindly for the iPad 1.5 and then in September people who were considering another tablet because of better specs will flock and get the ”real” iPad 2 released in September. Overall, I think this strategy is simply to assure that anyone who wants a tablet this year will strongly consider an iPad 1.5 or iPad 2 before any other tablet out there.

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  • MattSTKC

    Seriously? Let’s compare an under $200 item to a (minimum) $500 item. Sure. Stop trying to justify pure BS and speculation.

  • JumboMan

    THat shall be interesting to see

  • kcdk99

    If the iPad announced tomorrow is only a performance update or otherwise “eh,” I’m going to wait for the next round. Here’s why: I have an iPhone 4. I didn’t get the first generation iPad because I wanted to see what the second generation had to offer. Yeah, the iPad would give me more screen real estate and some apps with more functions due to the larger screen, but that by itself wasn’t enough for me to want to grab one right away. I still can perform most of the same functions on my iPhone which has greater portability allowing me to carry it anywhere. If I’m going to add an iPad to my electronics arsenal, I want it to do a LOT more than my iPhone can… not just give me a bigger screen and a little more memory and maybe speed. If the iPad announced tomorrow doesn’t “wow” me, I’ll wait, as I’m sure a lot of other consumers will. That having been said, I think that Apple needs to put a little more functionality separation between the iPhone and the iPad; I’m sure there are many other consumers that have have the same mindset as I.

  • S. Mulji

    Then you should buy an 11″ MB Air

  • sidharth

    I was sure I will buy the ipad 2 when it comes out. But these rumors from reliable soruces like Gruber and Kara Swisher has forced me to rethink. So even if they dont introduce iPad 3 in September I will wait till March 2011 for the iPad 3. Sorry Apple you lose one customer

  • Mrples


  • Shearn

    But in the case of iPod, the Nano really was a better product compared to the Mini. Flash replacing Microdrive, resulting in a way smaller and seeker form factor. What would make iPad 3 so much better compared to iPad 2? Higher screen resolution? OK yes, but that’s headaches for developers to support. Thunderbolt port? Nice but not shockingly better. Thinner and sleeker? How much thinner can it get? So the only “shockingly different” component is the screen. I think it has to have something else more compelling that people are going to say, “Of course I’ll take an iPad 3 over iPad 2”

  • Davegan

    I am GUESSING we will see the iPad “3GS” here aka iPad Dual. The iPhone “World” this june, with all the internal upgrades that we see in this iPad. A refresh of the iPod Touch the end of summer, with an additional large iPod Touch (6.5 inch) all having the new “world” chip in them- VoIP baby. This will be the year of the iPod Touch and Lion, not the year of the iPad or iPhone. We will start seeing Apple taking back sells of the iPhone with its twin brother iTouch. And, the market will act like it doesn’t know what hit them with apple reinventing the phone industry again- this time with the iTouch. Buying them time to come out with their major upgraded iPad in the first part of 2012. All the while upgrading their Apple TV and turning on full Airplay, and Apples “Video Game Console”. Leading in as additional distraction to the iPad Dual. Ending 2012/Start of 2013 being the year of the iOS Mac, and the union of all things Apple being iOS.

  • Stuart Otterson

    But if you wait till March 2011, doesn’t that mean Apple has a customer pending rather than having lost one? :S

  • Jayla Baptist

    I love your ideas ur awesome keep making the produts ever :)