Will iPad be updated for the holidays?

What is an iPad?  Is it a consumer device or is it a new computing platform?  For all we know about the iPad, we’re still not sure.

If it is a consumer device, then a pre-holiday update to drive sales in the gift-buying season is appropriate.  This is what Apple does with it’s iPod line.  If rumors of a smaller iPad being developed by Apple are true, wouldn’t it make sense to bring them out in September, before the holiday rush, instead of in January with the Mac line refresh?

Last week, I wrote about the iPad already topping Christmas lists, “Jeremy Fennell, DSGi said: “there is no doubt that the iPad is going to be the number one Christmas gift this year.”

We know Apple is under pressure from consumers to up the resolution to Retina display levels, FaceTime is rumored for the iPod touch, so extending that to the iPad makes some sense.  More RAM also sounds probable as the iPhone got a nice bump with iPhone 4 hardware.  There is no shortage of ideas Apple could use to make a convincing argument for the 2nd generation.

When to refresh?  Will it be April?  I say yes for 3 reasons:
1.  Apple sticks to it’s major products annual refresh like glue; and that doesn’t seem to be broke – so why fix it? 
2.  The cavalcade of Android tablet competitors is still at the gate.  We expected to see a lot more by now, but so far, just the smallish Dell Streak has trickled out.  If there is no choice, then the current iPad will do just fine for the holidays.
3.  Apple still can’t make enough iPads to stock stores at this point.

Will we see a smaller iPad (7”) this holiday season from Apple?  One that could straddle the iPod/iPad families?  The Pad-Pod, if you will?  Let us know in the comments.

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