iPad 2: There never was a Retina display

February 25, 2011

The Apple rumor game is always a dicey business. Nevertheless there are a number of recent iPad 2 rumors that we should discount, such as pronouncements that a Retina display and SD card slot were cut from the final design at the last minute — changing the design at the eleventh hour can add weeks or months to a products delivery schedule

Engadget reports breathlessly that the higher resolution — some said Retina — display and SD card slot in the iPad were cut at the last minute for unknown reasons.

Just as we’d heard about last minute alterations to the Apple TV before it hit the market, we’ve gotten word from sources that the iPad 2 slated to be announced next Wednesday will be sans a few of the features we’d previously reported. Notably, that SD card slot and higher resolution display won’t make it into the new model (the latter we’d been hearing rumblings about for a little while).

If Apple plans to ship the iPad 2 at the beginning of April, a year after the arrival of the original, product is already being manufactured and they should already have a fairly significant stockpile on hand.

And, furthermore…

John Gruber at Daring Fireball, who has perhaps a 90 percent or better Apple rumorological record discounts Engadget’s write up in a rather more emotional tone.

Eleventh hour, my ass. Nothing in these regards has changed in the iPad 2 since January. Nothing. There was never going to be a higher resolution display in the iPad 2. I’d wager heavily that there was never going to be an SD card slot for it, either, but I don’t know that.

I haven’t been in the game for years now, but changing your design — the parts needed, testing, manufacturing processes, manuals, technical support, retail training and the list goes on — at the eleventh hour is just something one doesn’t do. Seriously, tweak a little this or remove that and you’ve pushed out delivery for weeks or even months.

So, would a company as deliberate and forward thinking as Apple change the design of the iPad 2 at the last minute? Not on your life, especially a known quantity like the iPad…

What’s your take?

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