Stock shortages of the first-gen iPad are being cited as evidence that Apple is readying the second-gen model for imminent release. UK retailer Carphone Warehouse is out of stock of all 3G-enabled models, as well as the 64GB WiFi version, while carriers in the country have already started throwing further subsidies at the Apple tablet, potentially to clear out final supplies.
Orange UK is now offering the iPad 3G from £99 ($160), half price compared to its regular subsidy, as long as buyers take out a 24-month data agreement. Meanwhile, reports of stock shortages have also been reported at European distributor Ingram Micro, with no remaining supplies of of the 16GB and 64GB WiFi-only iPads or of the 64GB 3G iPad, and “very low” supplies of the other versions. Canadian retailers are also believed to be affected.
Apple is expected to announce the iPad 2 imminently, with the tablet believed to have the same size and resolution of display but use a new, improved IPS panel with reduced reflections and better outdoor visibility. Slimmer and flatter than the first-gen iPad, the iPad 2 is also expected to add in twin cameras for Face Time support.
[via 9 to 5 Mac]