iPad 2 launches today

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iPad 2 is imminent

The technology world is eagerly awaiting the launch of the iPad 2 later today.

Apple is planning to hold simultaneous events in the UK and US at 6pm GMT, where it is widely expected to unveil the second generation of its 'magical' tablet. As always, the company is maintaining a strict silence on what will be announced, although the press invites clearly show an iPad partially hidden by the number two in a calendar that states March 2.

Roundup of iPad 2 features

Rumours are rife about what features will be included on the iPad 2. A faster processor, a forward-facing camera, an enhanced speaker and a less bulky case seem to be the most popular candidates. Meanwhile, a number of commentators have suggested that an anti-glare screen, a backward-facing camera and more memory could also be on the cards. On the technical side, Apple is likely to demonstrate iOS 4.3 - the operating system for the iPad 2 - and may even offer a sneak peak of iOS 5.0.

However, one well-placed technology blog has suggested that the iPad 2 launch may prove to be something of an anticlimax. Cult of Mac quotes an "Apple staffer" as saying that the iPad 3 is the one to get excited about, and that it is due for release later this year.

The Apple employee was reported to have said: "For the iPad 2 don't get your hopes up too high. That's all I'm going to say. They've had a number of problems along the way, and the third-generation iPad is the one to make a song and dance about."