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Slimmer iPad on tap for second-quarter 2011?

Apple's iPad could be updated by June of next year with a thinner and lighter footprint, according to Goldman Sachs analysts.

Apple

Apple could release a more svelte iPad by the end of the second quarter of 2011, Goldman Sachs said in an investment report yesterday.

According to the analysts, Apple will keep the 9.7-inch display in the new iPad, but will attempt to make it easier on the grip by reducing its weight and thickness. The analysts also expect Apple to throw in a built-in camera and a mini USB drive for additional connectivity.

Goldman Sachs also touched on the possibility of Apple finally releasing the long-rumored 7-inch iPad, saying that plans for the smaller tablet have yet to be "finalized."

As expected, Apple isn't talking. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether it's planning a new iPad next year.

But if it does release an iPad in the coming months, it will find a new competitor on store shelves. Yesterday, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion announced the PlayBook, a 7-inch tablet. The device includes Wi-Fi connectivity, a 1GHz dual-core chip, and two cameras. It's scheduled to launch early next year.

(Via Bloomberg)