Digg founder: Don't buy an iPad, iPad 2 is imminent

by Phil Hornshaw

You might want to return that iPad you got for Christmas.

Kevin Rose, the founder of the social news site Digg, claims the announcement and subsequent release of the iPad 2 is weeks away at most, so you'll want to hold off purchasing a new iPad because a better one is just out of reach.

Who knows if that's true, but then again, we didn't think we'd be getting a Verizon iPhone announcement within weeks of Christmas, and now all evidence points to that being the case. The Internet has been flooded with iPad 2 information as of late, and with so much junk being leaked and bouncing around between websites and tech blogs, it almost seems strange we haven't gotten the official word about the iPad 2 yet.

And then there's the Consumer Electronics Show 2011 in Las Vegas from the weekend, at which a supposed iPad 2 appeared — or at least, the shell of one, along with purported iPad 2 cases. Between that and Rose's tip, it seems like the iPad 2 has all the features we're expecting, like the new amped-up display and speakers, as well as front and rear cameras.

But the accidentally discovered iPad 2 is definitely suspect. Why would Apple (AAPL) just be handing out its (supposedly) secret products to case makers and the like? And why would that case maker be carrying it around and leaving it places at CES? At least over at Mashable, it's suspected the CES iPad 2 is a fake.

Another possible explanation is the iPad 2 was some kind of plant, rather than a simple accident: a shady move to get reporters wandering CES buzzing about this potentially impending iPad 2 announcement, just when talk about the Android and new tablets was at its peak. Basically, and this is just speculation on my part, I think Apple could have done it — to Bogart CES. And I think the information we've seen coming together about the Verizon (VZ) iPhone and its somewhat suspect announcement date (immediately following CES, with speculation and reporting about it exploding right in the middle of the show) was intentionally done for the exact same reason.

So I, for one, think an iPad 2 announcement before the end of February is a rumor that can be cautiously believed, especially if we see the Verizon iPhone show up on Tuesday in New York. This isn't a prototype iPhone 4 accidentally left behind in a bar, hidden in 3GS casing. The iPad 2 "leak" at CES seems too incredibly dumb on Apple's part, not to mention the case manufacturer carrying around an iPad 2 at a huge technology press show, to be a real accident. That shell is either a fake (which itself begs, "why?") or an elaborate publicity stunt. Either way, it's working.