iPad 2 Available for Purchase as Early as Next Week? Maybe

While the iPad 2 announcement is now confirmed for next week, its actual availability date is still not known at this stage, and conflicting reports are pouring in, with availability dates ranging from next week, to next month. According to AppleInsider, a “large scale, consumer-oriented product roll out (not just an announcement)” is allegedly planned for next week. In other words, the device could hit store shelves as early as next week, right after the introduction of the device during the special Apple event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco next Wednesday. Meanwhile, Taiwan-based tech news outlet Digitimes believes that the next-generation iPad is much more likely to be available for purchase early next month instead, as according to the site, Apple barely started to mass produce the new device, and will need at least a month to assemble enough units for a smooth launch. Note that the iPad 2 allegedly went through last minute design changes, which will likely prompt Apple to wait until April to actually start selling the device. While the iPad 2 will sport many new features, the device is not expected to be a major update to the original model, as its display and processor will be very similar to the ones found in first generation iPads. The device will however sport more memory (512MB instead of 256MB), and a pair of cameras. Overall design changes will be noticeable as well, as the device will feature a thinner, flatter back shell. Also note that the 3G version of the iPad 2 is expected to be compatible with both GSM and CDMA networks, to allow users to choose between at&t and Verizon.