While the rumors so far around the Apple iPad has been all around a possible third generation iPad 3 arriving before the end of the year, this latest rumor has introduced the iPad 2 Plus to the world of Apple rumors thanks to a note from FBR Capital Markets.
In a note to investors they referred to indications from the Apple supply chain that Apple might be looking at a 3rd quarter release of a slightly updated iPad 2, which they refer to as an iPad 2 Plus. The main difference between the current iPad 2 and the iPad 2 Plus would be in the screen resolution, which on the Plus version is likely to be approaching Retina quality (250-300ppi), a feature that many expected from the iPad 2 but that did not materialize.
This latest iPad 2 Plus rumor comes off the back of news that Apple might be releasing an iPhone 4S as well as an iPhone 5 this coming September, where the iPhone 4S will be a “light” version of the iPhone to attract more sales from emerging markets and non-contract based customers around the world.
There could be many reasons for Apple breaking their annual cycle of iPad releases, with technology enhancements being one and competition the other. Controlling the supply chain is an important task for Apple as it could mean an advantage in staying up to date or even one step ahead of the competition, that might struggle to get in with the latest in screen technology for example from major suppliers as Apple is taking up their production capability.