Anatomy of a WSJ Apple “Leak” (iPad 2 Cometh)

Dave Zatz —  February 9, 2011

The Wall Street Journal has an uncanny knack for getting Apple rumors right (said people familiar with the matter). Perhaps that’s because these aren’t actually leaks. The prevailing wisdom seems to be that Apple and the WSJ have a cozy relationship, enabling Apple to get its message out in a controlled fashion to a broad audience while reinforcing the WSJ’s leadership position (and kindly driving site traffic). Nothing wrong with that — exclusives and the fuzzy line between press and PR actually pre-dates us bloggers.

So when the WSJ declares that the iPad 2 is in production, via an article published after the stock market closed so both parties avoid the appearance any possible SEC impropriety, you can take it to the bank.

Apple’s obviously not ready for the big reveal, but there are some compelling reasons to get the word out now. Namely, HP is holding an event today where they’re expected to unveil a webOS tablet. This leak pretty effectively steals some of their thunder and alerts potential customers to hold out a bit longer. Additionally, the 10″ Motorola Xoom Android tablet is launching on Verizon in the next week or so. And why those “people familiar with the matter” had the WSJ mention the next generation iPad will include a Verizon connectivity option (in addition to extending their AT&T relationship). Lastly, Apple hopes to reign in expectations by informing the WSJ that the iPad 2 houses a screen of similar resolution to the existing model. As in: there will be no iPad “retina display” in 2011.

As for me, while I haven’t bought into the first generation iOS tablet, I fully intend to pick up its successor. I’m looking forward to the lighter weight, faster processor, additional memory… and hopefully more connectivity/accessory options of the iPad 2. Not only will it replace my Kindle, I expect it to serve as my kitchen television given quickly expanding video streaming options. Perhaps an accompanying software upgrade (iOS 5?) will also make the iPad more suitable for mobile blogging. We shall see… (in March or April).

9 responses to Anatomy of a WSJ Apple “Leak” (iPad 2 Cometh)

  1. i’m hoping for a camera on iPad 2 as well. Still forming my logic to convince my wife that I need an iPad too.

  2. This probably won’t fully replace your Kindle unless Apple miraculously reduces the current iPad’s weight in half in the next iteration. Don’t think this can happen unless they reduce the screen from its current size, which they won’t.

  3. Richard, we shall see. I’m willing to make some sacrifices in exchange for fewer devices with more versatility. Then again, I agree they’re not going to be able to shave a whole lot of weight off. And my Kindle is a sunk cost with limited resale value – so you’re right I may just keep on reading it.

  4. “The prevailing wisdom seems to be that Apple and the WSJ have a cozy relationship”

    Steve-o and Rupert sitting in a tree…

    Money makes strange bedfellows.

    —–

    It’s not just the product leaks. The WSJ was also how Steve-o managed news about his liver transplant.

    And of course, we have “The Daily”. And of course, the only two networks on Apple TV’s rental service are Disney, where Steve-o is the largest shareholder, and Fox, which is Rupert’s company.

  5. I believe, every time such accusations had come up, WSJ journos vehemently denied being a mouthpiece for Apple. However, their denials don’t prevent a hypothetical scenario where an Apple-related source is told by Apple to “leak” info to WSJ.

    In the end, I don’t think WSJ article is mindblowing news. Thanks to Apple’s annual refresh cycles on iPhone/iPod Touch/etc., we all know iPad 2 is going to be here soon.

  6. “In the end, I don’t think WSJ article is mindblowing news.”

    It’s still a nice feather in the WSJ’s cap to invariably be the first to get the “official” leak on new Cupertino hardware.

    Steve-o does favors for Rupert, both big and small, and Rupert does favors for Steve-o, both big and small.

    Given where the two of them stand in the US political spectrum, if you had suggested such a cozy arrangement between them 5 years ago, folks would have been justified in laughing at you. But, as stated, money makes strange bedfellows…

  7. I’m not clear why the iPad 2 is going to be that much better than the current one myself.

    3G model available on Verizon. Important for some people of course, but as a data-only device most of the objections to AT&T go away, esp. since AT&T’s data network is generally faster than VZ’s. Plus there’s no way VZ is going to offer that no contract 3G version AT&T currently offers. I’m not sure even AT&T is going to offer it anymore.

    Front facing camera for video chat? Okay, sounds nice, but seriously how many people would use this? The video chat on the iPhone makes a lot more sense, since you’ll have that with you during the day. Plus try looking at yourself from the angle the iPad is going to be looking up at you in your lap. Not attractive. Its hard enough to hold an iPhone at arms length for any length of time. Not really getting this one either.

    Rear facing camera? Myself I’m not sure this one is going to be a feature. Makes no sense at all really as a CAMERA. If it is there it’ll probably be something low rez like the iPod touch (e.g. < 1Megapixel) just for augmented reality stuff like holding it up to starfields and such.

    Screen resolution is going to be the same. Storage sounds like its going to be the same. A dock connector on the side? Okay, fine idea for some applications if it is even real. Battery life could be improved but who would care? Course I wouldn't mind if it CHARGED quicker…

    Faster CPU and better GPU? Doesn't matter for now since the current model is fast enough really in my opinion. Over time people will release new games and such that will only run on the new one. So over time that might matter, but nobody will target these things until their numbers start to mount up, which won't be for a while.

    The ONLY thing I can see caring about so far is the lighter weight. The current model really really is too heavy. But I still wouldn't buy a new one just for that…

  8. Right-o about the WSJ and Apple – – plus, Apple products always get reviewed (including the “magic trackpad”) for who know what reason.

    I would like to get an ipad, but I think by next X-mas, there will be at least two (HP, Playbook) realistic alternatives on the market, and likely a lot more (I have a blackberry, so the playbook looks good to me).

    It’s tough to wait this one out. The pads look cool. But this is like trying to decide between a “Creative” and an “ipod” 6 or so years ago. I bought the ipod. It was expensive, but cool. Haven’t regretted that decision. But people I know who use the ipad don’t usually use itunes with it all that often. That’ lack of a tether, but the lock-in for all other apps and lots of content, makes me wonder whether I should go with apple again.

  9. PS – the big story of the day is that HP also announced it’s going to make web os desktops and laptops. I’m no expert on the scaling up and down of this os, but this could be the big middle finger from HP to Microsoft on Win 8, etc. going forward.