Rumors: Apple iPad 2 to get bigger speakers and iPod-style shell

Thursday, December 23, 2010, 13:51 by Tech Correspondent

Speculation is rife that the next generation of Apple iPads will feature a 9.7-inch screen and emphasize on the audio, but use a design similar to that of the iPod Touch.

The unofficially dubbed iPad 2 is said to be equipped with a larger and better-sounding speaker. According to rumors, a slot on the bottom of the tablet is actually a large wide-ranged speaker unit covered with metal mesh.

We already know a few  features of the iPad 2. It will sport a 5-megapixel camera at the rear and a front-facing VGA camera for FaceTime video chat. The back side of the new iPad would be flatter like an iPod. Its dimensions would be overall smaller, losing exactly 3mm of thickness. It will measure 3.7 mm in width and a near equal measure in height. Moreover, it would include a redesigned ambient light sensor that has been moved to the upper center of the rear panel and carries a new 3 mm slim hole. Related: Previous iPad 2 rumors

apple ipad photo

Photo: Apple iPad

Another obvious feature that the iPad 2 will support is 4G connectivity options, i.e., the ability to use WiMax and TD-LTE networks. According to nexus404, the new iPad will also have a miniUSB drive. Apple probably didn’t put in a USB drive in the original iPad due to security concerns.

Apple is also likely to include Digital Qualcomm’s multimode CDMA-GSM chips in iPad 2, which would be of use particularly to Verizon users in the United States, and Tata and Reliance customers in India. Also see: Reliance and Tata planning to launch CDMA iPhone 4 in India

Few months ago, AppleInsider reported that Apple plans to move aggressively in pushing its FaceTime open video chat standard. Earlier this month, Apple added the Mac platform to its FaceTime connectivity.

Production of the new iPad has already started. Few reports suggest that Foxconn will begin the shipment of iPad 2 in January or February. However, the new iPad might be delivered from assembly to Apple and not to the end-customers. Apple iPad 2 is expected to reach customers only by April 2011.

Apple plans to build 2.5 million units of the next-generation iPad in the first quarter of 2011. However, some feel that Apple could ramp up production capacity to as much as 6 million.

It’s likely that the iPad 2 will be a little more expensive than the original tablet. This is because Apple is known to make subsequent models of existing products more expensive, while offering better features.

If you come across any more interesting iPad 2 rumors, do let us know in the comments.

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