What to Expect from the iPad 2 Announcement Next Wednesday

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Okay, gather ’round. Gather ’round. Here’s the skinny on what we may or may not see out of Apple’s iPad 2 announcement next Wednesday.

Like every other site on the internet, I have no identifiable and/or credible sources for this information. These are merely my own bets as a handsome titan of the tech media—feel free to leave your own in the comments.

Steve Jobs?!

Probably not. It’d be cool if Jobs did the announcement but it’ll probably be done by either Apple’s marketing VP Phil Schiller, maaaaybe interim CEO Tim Cook or perhaps a rotating cast of Apple executives. Jony Ive, Apple’s head of industrial design, may make an appearance as well.

It almost seems like Jobs would actually take the focus away from the product launch, as odd as that sounds.

Camera? Cameras?

Yes. When the first iPad was announced, a lot of people were like, “It would be PERFECT if it only had a camera!” They all bought it anyway, and Apple will add at least a front-facing camera to this new iPad so everyone who asked for it initially will feel as though they’ve been heard.

It’s got its FaceTime initiative, too, and almost every rumor has pointed to a camera. Slam dunk. A rear-facing camera? Maybe. It’d be a trivial addition, but you never know—what if Apple holds it until the iPad 3 so everyone who said the iPad 2 would have been PERFECT if only it had front- and rear-facing cameras (but bought the iPad 2 anyway) felt they’d been heard?

Thinner? Lighter? More Powerful?

Yes, yes, and yes. Marginally thinner, marginally lighter, noticeably more powerful. Look at what’s going into competing Android tablets: A dual-core processor and an entire gigabyte of RAM are becoming par for the course. Engadget seems to think the next iPad will only have 512 megabytes of RAM, which is possible. The processor will almost certainly be dual-core.

I’m interested to see how much weight Apple’s able to shave off the 1.5-pound figure from the first version. Getting the new one down to a pound would be pretty incredible, but a couple ounces lighter may be more realistic.

Better Screen?

This is actually what I’m most interested in finding out on Wednesday.

When Apple announced the original iPad, I thought the boxy 1024×768 screen resolution was a weird choice given that the whole world’s gone high-definition and widescreen. But the iPad’s ability to scale iPhone apps from a 480×320 screen to a 1024×768 screen made the decision a bit clearer given that the two devices’ pixel ratios align pretty closely.

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