iPad News: April 2 Release Date for iPad 2.0?

All the cool features in iOS 4.3 have gotten us all excited over how they'll work with the iPad 2.0, but when will we actually be able to try them out together? Now a source in Germany claims to have a release date. The iPad first hit Apple stores on April 3, 2010, so most of us have suspected that the next gen iPad will arrive about a year later. Apple has a record of refreshing products on a yearly schedule, but the demand for the updated iPad has been so great, there were rumors that the next model might come sooner. Now if looks like the second gen iPad will arrive right on schedule, as German site MacNotes.de reports that the iPad 2.0 will make its debut on one of the first two Saturdays in April. That would be April 2 or April 9. The site also reports that as with the first iPad, the new model is expected to be available exclusively in the US for its first three months and only at Apple Stores for up to six months. Other retailers currently selling the iPad, like Target, Walmart and Best Buy may have to wait until fall. This part of the report doesn’t make much sense and I have to question it.

The iPad would never have had such explosive sales without being sold internationally and at big box retailers. If Best Buy is selling the current model of the iPad, why shouldn’t it have the new one when it goes on sale? And what about the carriers AT&T and Verizon, which are expected to get custom editions of the new iPad? Shouldn’t they be selling their version of the iPad in their stores? One-month exclusivity for Apple Stores makes sense, but anything beyond that is just going to cut into overall sales. Apple is smarter than that, so I’ll buy the release date rumor but question the sales info.