iPad 2 Features Closer To Confirmation With New Case Design

We have received a lot of information about the next generation iPad over the past couple of weeks. As we have already noted, iPad 2 is expected to be significantly thinner and could come with tapered sides, front and rear facing cameras, a wide-range speaker and possibly a USB port.

Now Dexim, a case design manufacturer has been exhibiting one of their new cases that has been designed for iPad 2. The case has been pretty smartly designed that allows a Bluetooth keyboard to connect to a sleeve that will contain the iPad 2 that will enable users to get their iPad working like a laptop.

With a number of accessory manufacturers producing iPad 2 cases that seem to be built with the rumored new features in place, the credibility of the speculations regarding the iPad 2 design is just getting stronger. What do you think? Check out a snapshot of the exhibited iPad 2 case from Dexim embedded below.

Dexim iPad case

Rumored iPad 2 Hardware Features “Extremely Accurate”

Over the past couple of weeks, a number of revelations have been made with respect to the next generation iPad. These include the possible inclusion of a wide-range speaker on the rear bottom of the device, tapered sides and flatter rear and camera slots on the front and rear of the device.

These speculations have come through third party accessory pictures that were posted on Chinese eCommerce website Alibaba.com. In addition to this, folks at 9to5Mac too had published iPad 2 case mold drawings that gave us a much more complete picture of the forthcoming device. Until now these remained just rumors that carried little or no credibility.

However, it now appears these feature speculations were indeed correct. Apple or one of their partners seemed to have contacted all websites that had taken a lead in publishing these photos and demanded these images be pulled. Subsequently, 9to5Mac and Alibaba among others have pulled the images that they had posted on their websites. 9to5Mac have updated their earlier post with a message that reads,

“we’ve been told (not so nicely) to remove those mold drawings because they are the property of someone else. We’ve complied.”

Meanwhile, FullChance Industrial Co., who reportedly have partnered with Hon Hai for the manufacture of the accessories have revealed that the published images are “extremely accurate“. So there you go. In case you had any doubt about what the next generation iPad would look like, you just had your answer.

Apple iPad 2 Launch – iPad Shipment For December Down

Concord Equity research analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has come up with a new report where he claims that Apple could be slowing down on the shipment of new iPad units from its suppliers ahead of the launch of the new iPad – rumored to happen in February next year.

According to a note sent to investors, Kuo has claimed that iPad shipments for December amounted close to 1.6 million units that was significantly lower than the 2.1 million units shipped in November this year.

What this has meant is that Amazon Kindle has been able to expand from being a niche player in the segment to becoming a more mass-market player. Kuo points out that shipments of Kindle matched with those of the iPad in December with the Amazon eReader expected to sell as many as 4.5 million units in the first quarter of next year.

Anyway, of interest is the shipment numbers for iPad. Given the February timeline for the launch of iPad 2, we wonder if Apple Stores would start reporting depleting inventory as we head to the new year. Do you see such a thing in your neighborhood store? Tell us in the comments.

Next Generation CDMA iPad In The Works?

The next generation iPad, which by some counts could be launching as early as February of next year, could come in a CDMA variant as well. This is according to a recent article on the Taiwanese publication, DigiTimes. The website cites sources to claim that the next generation iPad could come in three variants – a Wi-Fi only model, a 3G UMTS version and one on CDMA. Each of these models are expected to come with different storage capacities of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB taking the overall number of new SKUs to nine.

While the credibility of the source is still in question, we must point out that this rumor is not too improbable either. Apple signed a partnership with Verizon earlier this year that brought the Wi-Fi only iPad to the Verizon stores. A CDMA variant of the iPad that will run on Verizon is only a logical extension.

In any case, we will look forward to these new models that can only increase the choices for the consumer.

iPad 2 Hardware Features To Include Dual-Core Processor, Tapered Sides?

We are here with more iPad 2 rumors. Japanese blog Macotakara had earlier claimed from anonymous Chinese sources that the next generation iPad could come with a wide-range speaker offered on the rear-side bottom of the device.

Now, the blog has published a video of an iPad casing purported to be that of the upcoming iPad model that seemingly “confirms” this. Not just that, the video also shows that the new iPad could come with a flat back, tapered sides and realigned volume buttons. Check out the video below.

Rodman & Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar may not be the best when it comes to getting rumors right. But what he says this time could be interesting. According to him, the new iPad 2 – that is likely to sport Apple’s in-house processors, could be equipped with a dual-core chip that will make the device capable of running more powerful features.

If this is true, it is also likely for the next generation iPhone and iPod Touch models to carry these powerful processor chips. It is worth noting that all these iDevices carry the same processor chips developed natively at Apple.

iPad 2 Cases Feature Slots For Speakers

The past couple of weeks has seen a deluge of rumors and speculations with respect to the next generation iPad. Yesterday, there were reports from Japan that suggested that the wide slots noticed in iPad case designs earlier were for a “wide range speaker” and not an SD card slot as reported. While that remains a speculation so far, we just have more information that supports this claim.

A new iPad case posted on Chinese eCommerce website, Alibaba.com, has a rendering of the rear side that shows the slot being used to reveal the metal mesh of an iPad speaker. It must be noted that this is an image mockup that may not give the complete picture. Also, these accessories are designed by manufacturers based on design inputs they receive and may not always conform to the final design.

iPad case

Nevertheless, the latest speculation has raised the curiosity levels among observers and has renewed a debate on the merits of having an SD card slot vis-a-vis a speaker. What do you want on iPad 2?

Wide-Range Speakers On iPad 2 [Rumor]

According to new rumors, the second generation iPad could be coming with a number of changes in the configuration and layout. A Japanese Mac blog has cited an anonymous Chinese source in its claims that iPad 2 could measure 3mm smaller than the current iPad thanks to a smaller bezel. In addition to this, this upcoming device shall also purportedly sport a “flat like an iPod Touch” rear and a realigned ambient light sensor.

But most interestingly, this new device is reported to come with a wide-range speaker. You may remember that this feature was a debating point when we had written about a slot available with leaked iPad 2 case designs. The source has claimed this feature to be a “large wide-ranged speaker unit covered with metal mesh“.

Of course all of this is just a rumor and so come with the usual disclaimers. Nevertheless, it thickens the plot on the possible new features and we look forward to hearing more about this officially.

iPad 2 Rumors – Volume Of Orders Expected To Cross 6 Million Per Month

According to reports on the Digitimes, Apple is anticipating high demand of the next generation iPad when it launches next year. The publication has revealed that Cupertino may have sealed a deal with two additional touch panel makers – Chimei Innolux and Cando – to cumulatively supply close to 6 million iPad 2 devices per month.

If true, Apple’s demand forecast for the next year could be extremely optimistic given that the company is expected to see more tight competition starting 2011. It is also worth noting that despite the huge market share that Apple owns right now, monthly sales are only in the range of 4 million units per month. Perhaps Apple sees more and more people upgrading from other portable computing devices like netbooks and notebooks to tablet computers that could significantly enhance the size of the overall market.

In any case, it will be interesting to see if Apple will manage to sustain such high demand levels through 2011. What do you think?

Next Generation iPad Screen Size Half Of Current Model?

Yesterday we had published a few pictures of the casings purportedly made for the next generation iPad. While those pictures do not reveal a form factor vastly different from the iPad currently in the market, we are now hearing that Apple is in fact working on an alternative version of iPad that could come with a screen size that is nearly half of the existing model’s.

The report comes from Reuters and the source does not clarify if this is in fact iPad 2 or is another variant that could be released somewhere down the line.

“A separate supply chain source said Apple was preparing a significantly smaller iPad that is almost half the size of the current model. The current iPad has a 9.7-inch screen.”

Now this does not totally align with what Steve Jobs had said earlier this year. In October, the Apple CEO rubbished reports of a 7″ iPad saying that the screen size was too small. But then, you never know. Steve Jobs has pulled this trick many times in the past – most recently with multitasking which was earlier dissed off as something mobile phones didn’t need. So expect a smaller iPad to launch when The Jobs feels the time is right.

New iPad 2 Features – To Include Rear Camera & SD Card Slot?

The next generation iPad 2 is rumored to launch anytime between January and April of next year. While there is little doubt about a front facing camera making an appearance (so you could FaceTime), we still reserve our judgement about the availability of a rear facing camera.

But word is now out that iPad 2 will feature not just a rear facing camera, but an additional slot for SD cards as well. These rumors are courtesy a number of iPad 2 casing pictures that have been sourced from Chinese eCommerce websites like Alibaba.

iPad case rear camera

It is not unusual for accessory manufacturers in China to source designs of future electronic products to design and market their accessories. Also considering the number of sources that these pictures have come from, the rumors sound all the more credible.

Anyway, with the latest rumors pointing to a February release, it is just a matter of weeks before we get to see an official revelation of specs.