Could This Really Be the iPad 2?

Dawn of the iPad 2 event it may be, but that hasn't stopped the whisper-factory from churning out a few more ragged guesses. First up is a plethora of mock-up photos of the iPad 2 from a Chinese site. They seem to match the other render we saw earlier this week, with tapered edges and a speaker grill down the bottom-left.

The Chinese site is up and down like Gwyneth Paltrow singing at the Oscars, but you can check out more of the photos over at MIC Gadget if so desired.

Amazon Germany, which is fast becoming the go-to place to spot early gadget prices and specs, supposedly slipped up with an iPad 2 listing. The page has been removed now (if it ever existed), but supposedly the specs included a 9.7-inch screen; 1.2GHz dual-core processor and Thunderbolt port—though I see no such evidence on those leaked photos.

As our Jesus Diaz pointed out though, it's possible that Apple will choose to add Thunderbolt via an entirely different means: the dock. As the dock port is expandable, and not all of the pins are used, it's possible Apple will add its new connectivity method (which is just Intel's Light Peak, rebranded), to get its second-gen iPad 2 up to speed with the new MacBook Pros, using an adapter. That way Apple can continue controlling its ecosystem of accessories.

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And, just in case there was any doubt in your mind that today's announcement was going to be a small one, an anonymous Apple employee reportedly spoke to CultofMac, claiming not to "get your hopes up too high. That's all I'm going to say. They've had a number of problems along the way, and the third-generation iPad is the one to make a song and a dance about." According to that staffer, the iPad 3 will be released later this year—though that would certainly break from the Apple release mould. [DGTLE via MIC Gadget and YourDailyApple and CultofMac]