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Predictions on the iPad2 event

2011, ipad

Tonight's Apple event is almost certainly on the iPad 2. So what are we likely to see?

Faster processor and more memory are pretty much a given, though it's unlikely that these will be called out during the presentation itself. What's more likely is the storage size will be bumped - 64G will be the minimum and 128G will be an option. It's pretty unlikely that a 256G will show up at any reasonable price point - look at the MacBook Pro SSD upgrades to get a feel for the pricing.

As much as I'd like a new retina display, I suspect they aren't going to rev that in sufficient quantities for another year or so. If they are pre-announcing a product now for shipping in autumn, then maybe - but with the old SKUs being wiped out it's fairly likely to be shipping in days or weeks rather than months.

FaceTime camera and support is a given, though I don't know how they will demo it without NostrilView (tm). Maybe propped up on a desk, perched on a figure of Steve Jobs purchased from eBay? Unlikely to be on a wall - they want to demo the portability of the device, even if a WallCam (tm) looking like a prop from a Harry Potter movie would make more sense.

What I think is a given is the introduction of Thunderbolt on an iPad. The transfer rates would allow you to fill an iPad in under a minute, making sync'ing a breeze. It will be interesting to see whether it uses the dock connector or have a mini display port/thunderbolt port on board. Also, the 'one more thing' might be the ability to drive an HDMI or even HDCP TV from the Thunderbolt port.

There will either be a release of iOS 4.3 or 5.0 with the event as well. I suspect the former - it's likely that an iOS 5 release will tie in with the iPhone 5 in a May 5th presentation ("high five") later this year.

Given that the MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt came our without too much hoo-hah from Apple (despite being a big leap for the future) expect some of it to come out in the presentation. It wouldn't surprise ms if we saw a demo of a 64G iPad2 "factory wiped" and then connected up to a new MacBook Pro and restored in minutes, just to demo the speed in ways the average punter can understand.

Will I get one? Probably not until I get a MacBook Pro. But my willpower may be dramatically reduced when they come out, particularly if it has retina display on board ...