Originally Posted by cloudgazer
You're not thinking far enough ahead. If they don't update the iPad in October then their next good release opportunity isn't till Feb, or perhaps even March. November and December are too late to hit christmas properly and would destroy their iPad-2 holiday sales without providing decent new sales. Jan and Feb people are generally not keen on making big expensive purchases, so they would waste the free publicity that an Apple release would generate.
Android makers aren't as constrained by these factors as they know they won't have to deal with a huge run-away success from day one and they don't get anything like as much PR from their launches.
So Apple has to consider the state of the market in March12 when deciding if to aim a release at Oct11. Which is pretty much the reason that they released the iPod photo in October after releasing the 4G in the July, even though the iPod was already the market leader by miles at that point.
But that's the purpose of the iPad 3 next year, to ensure sales in the post-Christmas quarter. If they update in October then they have to update sometime in March or April to keep sales ticking over... But really not that any of that is an issue, demand for iPhone and iPad still far outstrip supply. The seasonal sales of Macs and iPods used to be what drove Apple product releases but the iPhone and iPad are blockbusters all year round, once you take the global rollout into place.
I think this iPad 2+ or iPad 3 in October is coming from three streams of rumours.
One stream is that there actually no new features, Apple is simply engaging a larger number or a different set of component suppliers to try and hit 6-9 million iPads a month. The waves that Apple is causing in procuring ever more components could be misconstrued as a new or different product.
The second stream is that maybe, and this could be the only reason Apple would do it this year, is that they have lined up suppliers that can deliver newer spec components at higher volumes hence Apple is going to update the iPad 2 as well in line with these newer spec components. For example, it is conceivable that there is more supply of newer spec components because the industry is ramping up production of that rather than older spec components.
The caveat is that how in the world would higher-res screens be more highly available than the current screens. Hence the third possible stream of these rumours is that if the screens are the constraint, then adding another screen supplier for the higher res screens would increase iPad capacity. Somehow this would mean that rather than Supplier B making the same stuff as Supplier A to boost iPad production, Supplier B is actually making the higher-res screens, perhaps because they've been gearing their manufacturing for the higher-res screens for several months now and were never prepared to make the lower-res screens.