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Every day there’s a whole raft of stories sneaking out on the iPad 2. Every day we cover them, and our readers read them. Google iPad 2, and you get 457m results. But what do we really know for sure? What’s been corroborated with official information?

The answer? Hardly anything. That’s not surprising of course, Apple (like other tech companies) keeps schtum until the official launch of a device, and has no interest in confirming or denying information that circulates on the blogosphere.

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However, without official confirmation or denial there’s lots that’s quite probable, but in the case of the iPad 2 there’s very little with good sources. A camera seems to be a solid likelihood, since the new SDK has camera icons at the same resolution as the iPad in it, and camera and video icons that match the iPhone but are a little bigger.

As for full retina display on the iPad 2, it’s highly unlikely. The amount of power needed to blast out a Retina display at the size of an iPad means some impressive power management would need to be installed on the iPad too. There’s been talk of higher resolution (not full Retina quality), but this has been disputed, with one side quoting evidence that the resolution will be doubled for the iPad, and other folk with inside sources, like John Gruber, saying that the resolution will stay the same.

The size of the iPad is another source of rampant speculation. Chinese iPad 2 case makers have been a major source of “information”: a video leaked out that claimed to show a dummy iPad 2, but which could equally have been a knock off with the words iPad 2 stuck on the back (which was also what it looked like given the shonky oversized font). The extra ports and size of the iPad 2 are leaks that have originated largely with case makers (although one source for this information involved a patent application). The question to ask is whether a company making iPad 2 cases before there’s more than a hint of it from Apple has been told anything by Apple?

One journalist pointed out to me at CES that Apple probably hasn’t provided any dummy’s or information to companies making cases: it didn’t with the iPod nano, so why would it do so with the iPad 2?

The name is the final piece of the puzzle: while iPad 2 is the strongest search term at the moment, that’s all it is: the accepted shorthand. Of course, it could be called the iPad 2, but generally speaking it doesn’t make sense that Apple would put a number on the end of the iPad. The iPhone 4 gets a number because its predecessors were 3G and 3GS. But the iPod touch has never had a number, it’s simply been identified as the iPod touch. This is the same for the MacBook Air, and all iPods. It could be called the iPad 2, but the fact is, we really don’t know.

Under scrutiny, most iPad 2 information falls into the category of rumour, and while there’s a sliding scale to the raft of rumours, there’s little we know, aside from the fact that Apple will be releasing a new iPad.

Do we really know anything about the iPad 2? What do you think?

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