Rumor: iPad 2 announcement at end of February for March release

The iPad 2 rumor mill is in full production mode now, with the latest coming from Japanese Mac site MacOtakara.

According to the translation (unfortunately from Google Translate and not our very own Japan-based Rick Martin), Apple is planning on a short event toward the end of February during which the features and release date of the new device are to be announced.

Production of the new device is apparently on hold due to the Chinese New Year celebrations, which began on February 3rd and should end the morning of February 17th. The picture at right is from the site, although we have no idea if that’s a touchscreen from an existing or future iPad.

MacOtakara believes that the release will be made in March, although the exact timing and distribution (i.e., worldwide vs. U.S. only) are uncertain. We don’t know where the site got their information or if this is simply yet another case of wild speculation, so take this rumor with a great deal of skepticism.

We are, however, seeing an increased number of reports of iPad 2 parts being shipped to repair depots, an iPad 2 prototype was apparently spotted this week at launch of The Daily, and unconfirmed rumors are saying that an iPad 2 ad was filmed in LA this week featuring a FaceTime call on the new camera-carrying tablet.

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