So, is this the iPad 2 or not?

Apple is, you may be aware, notoriously secretive about upcoming products. Details of major iterations are usually released at keynote addresses, unless you count the time the iPhone 4 was unveiled by being left in a bar. On the whole, though, little gets out without Apple’s say so.

Which makes the story of an iPad 2 mockup being spotted at CES quite odd. Have a look at this video:

Gadget website, GearZap says this about it:

This video is of a dummy iPad 2 which we believe was given to a Chinese supplier to help build iPad accessories and cases before the official launch by Apple, so it’s a pretty good indication of what the iPad 2 will look like, given the release date is so close.

See, I honestly find that hard to believe. Would a manufacturer really be so foolish as to unveil Apple’s new product before it’s meant to be done? Wouldn’t that run a very high risk of Apple refusing to supply them with future mock-ups and, consequently, they would miss the boat for bringing accessories to market for launch-day? At the other end of the scale, I would assume doing this could land the supplier in legal trouble as Apple would most likely have a non-disclosure agreement in place.

OK, so that’s a “common sense” argument about why I’m unconvinced about this mock-up, but there’s something else. Listen to the crowd noise in the background of the video. Am I imagining it, or does it sound like it’s on a loop?

What do you think about all this? Do you think we’re seeing leaked iPad 2 details, or is it a hoax designed to give the Chinese supplier in question a bit of publicity? I’d love to be proved wrong, but I’m leaning towards hoax at the moment. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

[via GearZap]

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