iPad 2.0: New design, manufacture process?
The rumor mill surrounding the next version of Apple's iPad is clicking into a higher gear as the likely ship date nears.
Things we absolutely know about the next version of the iPad: it's not going to have a 7-inch screen.
Rumors, leaks, and guesswork can offer this, though: it probably has a front-facing camera (FaceTime makes perfect sense), will likely come sometime in the first quarter of next year (Apple has a pretty predictable refresh cycle for gadgets), and the 3G version might be dual mode.
According to analysts who are checking with suppliers, Qualcomm may provide chips that allow the iPad to run on both CDMA and GSM networks, a so-called "world" iPad. The current 3G version is GSM only. The same analyst, Brian Blair of Wedge Partners, says the iPad will be manufactured from the same unibody construction design process from a single chunk of metal that the MacBook Pro uses.
The dual-mode iPad makes a lot of sense considering that Apple is now offering the iPad on both CDMA and GSM networks. While the 3G version of the tablet AT&T (and others) sells has GSM chips inside, thecomes bundled with a wireless hot spot. It's a workable compromise, but one that the complexity-averse, minimalist design-oriented Apple probably hopes is short-lived.