The story certainly makes a splashy headline for Reuters, but its content has been thoroughly scrutinized by other mainstream media, including TechCrunch's MG Siegler, whose "Reuters Knows A Guy Who Knows A Guy Who Totally Saw The iPad 2 Today" headline captures most of the sentiment around the Web.
Siegler's main point of contention, one that I certainly agree with, is that "this is the age of the cameraphone. Where's the goddamn picture?"
As Siegler put it, the meat of the story from Reuters reads:
A Reuters eyewitness saw what appeared to be a working model of the next iPad with a front-facing camera at the top edge of the glass screen at a press conference to mark the debut of News Corp's Daily online paper in New York on Wednesday.
A source with knowledge of the device confirmed its existence, adding that the final release model could have other features. News Corp and Apple declined to comment.
To break it down, someone saw what that person believed to be an iPad 2 (due to a front-facing camera on the device) and told someone from Reuters (apparently under the condition of anonymity) but couldn't manage to get any evidence. Another source "confirms" that Apple will indeed make version 2 of the best-selling consumer electronic device in history.
Yes, that's meaty.
For what it's worth, the rumor mill about Apple products is always rampant, especially when devices are due to be released. Certainly the iPad 2 will come to market in the next couple months, but I would say (as many others would) that it is highly unlikely a prototype iPad 2 would be floating around an Apple event.
But, who knows, maybe this eyewitness was correct in what he or she saw. German site MacNotes.de reports that its sources in the "accessories business" claim that Apple's iPad 2 will be released next week alongside iOS 4.3. If the iPad 2 is indeed that close to public release, there could very well have been a daring individual with a prototype unit running around yesterday's The Daily event.
Is there any way, if you saw an iPad 2 in the wild before it was released, you would not try and get a picture of it? Let me know what you'd do to get that scoop in the comments!