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A third iteration of the iPad could hit the market before the end of year, an influential Apple blog has forecast.

The as yet officially unconfirmed iPad 2 reportedly went into production just this month and is expected to come to market around Easter, with Apple’s annual product refresh cycle suggesting a May or June launch in the UK.

However, according to John Gruber of Daring Fireball, who isn't wrong about too much that happens down Cupertino-way, the profusion of powerful and appealing rival devices coming to market could force a change of strategy from Apple.

He wrote: “My gut feeling is that Apple will move the iPad to a September release schedule, alongside the iPods.

"But they wouldn’t want to wait over a year and a half from the announcement of the original iPad to announce the second one – not with these stakes, and not with so many serious competitors trying their best to catch up.”

Specs for the iPad have yet to be officially confirmed, but rumours suggest it'll pack dual cameras and the Facetime app for video calling, an iPhone 4-esque high density retina display and expandable memory via microSD card support.


Daring Fireball

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