We’ve been hearing rumors over the past few weeks that Apple is looking to launch its next-generation tablet in February of next year. The most recent chatter even points to a specific date — February 24 (Steve Jobs’ birthday).
A February iPad 3 release is certainly feasible. The original iPad launched in April of 2010, and the iPad 2 debuted in March 2011. We’ve just uncovered more evidence that lends weight to the theory that the next iPad is coming in two months…
It looks like Verizon, the largest cell phone provider in the US, is running low on iPad 2 stock. A visit to the carrier’s website shows that it is completely out of white iPad 2s in both 16GB and 32GB models. We’ve been able to confirm this with a Verizon customer service rep who not only verified that the tablets were out of stock, but also couldn’t say when they’d be available again.
Supply constraints are usually indicative of a product refresh, especially with Apple. And the fact that Verizon is out of its two most popular iPad models suggests that a new product is coming sooner, rather than later.
We realize that it’s the holidays, but keep in mind that Verizon’s iPad 2s were never on sale like the Wi-Fi models were earlier this month, and they aren’t nearly as popular. Not to mention that Apple hasn’t had any problems fulfilling iPad 2 orders since July of this year.
It’s also interesting that Apple has its refurbished iPad 2s on sale for $419. In the past, Apple has sold refurbished models of its current-generation products on its website at a discount of just $50, not $80.
Obviously, none of this is concrete evidence by any means. But at the very least, if you were looking to purchase an Apple tablet, you might want to strongly consider holding off for the next two months.