Analyst: iPad 2 launch crucial for Apple

Analysts will be watching how Apple handles the pressure of unveiling the iPad's successor without Steve Jobs, who is out on medical leave.

Apple's current iPad Apple

With the iPad 2 event just a day away, one industry analyst is calling the unveiling of the next-generation tablet a crucial moment for Apple.

In a research note to clients today, Brian White of Ticonderoga Securities called the iPad 2 a "crucial product launch," reports AppleInsider. White and other analysts will be looking at several factors, including how Apple handles the event without Steve Jobs.

Jobs announced in January that he was taking another leave of absence from the company to focus on his health. The iPad 2 will be the first major product launch event since Jobs left.

The iPad 2 launch comes at a pivotal time for Apple and its competitors. CES saw the announcement of numerous tablet devices, with many due to ship to consumers in the next several months.

"We estimate there are well over one hundred tablets coming to market around the world this year," White said in his note. "Assuming a new iPad is unveiled at this event, we believe Apple must make a convincing case for why the iPad 2 is better than the plethora of competitors coming to market, while at the same time persuading iPad 1 buyers to upgrade to iPad 2."

The specs for the iPad 2 are closely guarded by Apple, but a post on AllThingsD this morning makes several predictions.

ATD's John Paczkowski speculates that the device will feature a 1.2GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 chip and Imagination's SGX543 GPU architecture; a Qualcomm multimode chip for both GSM- and CDMA; 512MB RAM; and front- and back-facing cameras.

Apple's event kicks off at 10:00 am PT tomorrow. CNET will be there, live-blogging the announcement.

About the author

Jim Dalrymple has followed Apple and the Mac industry for the last 15 years, first as part of MacCentral and then in various positions at Macworld. Jim also writes about the professional audio market, examining the best ways to record music using a Macintosh. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. He currently runs The Loop.

 

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