iPad 2? Old news. iPad 3 could arrive this year.

Could we get two iPads in one year? iPad 3 rumors are in full tilt.

By , Venture Beat

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    iPad 3? That's the word from "inside sources."
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Apple is expected to unveil the iPad 2 within the next few weeks, but the company may also be gearing up to introduce another model in the fall, according to TechCrunch’s MG Siegler.

A source tells Siegler that Apple is planning a “big fall surprise”, which may in fact be an iPad 3. But Apple’s most eloquent fan John Gruber, who many thought confirmed a fall iPad release with an offhand comment, also considers the possibility that the iPad 3 may just be some sort of slight upgrade to the iPad 2 later this year.

The conflicting reports (it should be noted Gruber is only guessing) point to two separate iPad releases this year, which isn’t a stretch considering Apple will be facing some major tablet competition from the likes of Motorola, RIM and now HP.

Recommended: Apple's new iPad brings 4G, better camera, more pixels than an HDTV

Gruber’s scenario sounds more plausible to me. Apple needs to wow the tech community with its iPad 2 announcement soon, but it wouldn’t make much sense for the company to release an entirely new model so quickly. An upgraded iPad 2 — perhaps with more memory, storage, and other features to make it competitive against other tablets for the holiday season — falls more in line with Apple’s typical product cycle. But don’t be surprised if that iPad 2 upgrade still ends up being called the iPad 3.

Both Gruber and Siegler predict that we may finally see a high-resolution screen with the fall iPad release, which would explain why it was so heavily rumored for the iPad 2. The iPad 2 is reportedly in production now using the same 1024 by 768 pixel resolution display as the original iPad.

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