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iPad 2 coming in April, say all-seeing Apple prophets

Hype and speculation is already building around the heir to the first king of tablets, with April mooted as the likely date for the coronation of the iPad 2.

We haven't even reached the end of 2010, but speculation, rumour, prediction and future-scrying is already ramping up on what's to come with the second-generation iPad -- and when.

Wall Street analyst Brian Marshall, of Gleacher & Co, reckons April 2011 will be the date of the second coming, Computerworld reports. Marshall has consulted his astrological charts and reveals it will have the same 9.7-inch size display, but with two cameras this time, the front one letting you use FaceTime.

This astonishing revelation chimes with what Goldman Sachs predicted in September, although GS added that the next-generation tablet would be thinner and lighter than the original. Marshall doesn't expect to see more storage in the iPad 2 though, betting it will offer the same 16GB, 32GB and 64GB as present models.

Brian Blair, an analyst at Wedge Partners, is also confident that we're going to see a front-facing camera, writes All Things Digital. His mystic sources lead him to expect Qualcomm to power the tablet, and for it to be capable of running on mobile networks around the world. Amazing stuff!

"We understand the new iPad is thinner than the existing model and is essentially made from one piece of metal with no pins needed," Blair chanted, calling on the ghosts of his ancestors to guide him. "We understand it requires a new type of manufacturing process as a result, similar to the company's unibody approach seen in MacBooks."

It would be a surprise if the iPad 2 didn't have a few of the enhancements these soothsaying geniuses describe. It's already got rival firms running scared, Digitimes reports. Citing sources -- magical sources? -- the blog reveals that Apple's competitors fear the release of the iPad 2 could weaken demand for what they had to offer. Astonishing.

Companies such as Motorola, RIM and LG are all expected to launch new tablets around that time, despite the release of a new improved iPad being as obvious and predictable as the changing of the seasons. Will they sell a fraction as many units as the iPad 2? Of course not.

If you can't wait until April for an iPad, it may be worth taking a look at possible deals coming soon from Orange and T-Mobile, according to New Media Age. The networks are said to be preparing to offer the iPad for much less than its current price if you sign up to a long-term contract. Prices could drop as low as £200, and a formal announcement is expected soon.

Can you predict an entirely predictable event? Let us know in the comments what your obvious detectors have picked up.