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Rumor: Apple prepping three iPad 2 versions

Apple is apparently working on three versions of the iPad 2, claims a report in DigiTimes. Apple may also be trying to reduce smudging on the screen.

Apple's current iPad Apple

Apple is working on three versions of the iPad 2, DigiTimes reported today.

Citing an unnamed source, DigiTimes claims one model of Apple's next tablet will feature Wi-Fi only, while another will provide UMTS connectivity and Wi-Fi. The third model would apparently boast CDMA access, along with Wi-Fi connectivity. UMTS, or Universal Mobile Telecommunications System, is a 3G technology used by AT&T and T-Mobile in the United States. Verizon and Sprint use CDMA, or code division multiple access, for 3G.

DigiTimes' sources claim that about two-thirds of Apple's iPad shipments feature 3G connectivity, which may be leading Apple to opt for more 3G connectivity options.

Currently, those who own an iPad with 3G can connect only to AT&T's 3G network. Consumers who want to connect to Verizon's network need to use the MiFi 2200 Hotspot for Web access when away from a Wi-Fi connection. That option was made available in October.

Beyond connectivity, DigiTimes reported that Apple is working on ways to reduce smudging and screen reflection, but the publication didn't say how the company would achieve that.

Finally, DigiTimes sources said Apple could release the iPad 2 around March or April.

The release date DigiTimes offered in its latest report is a little later than the publication's sources previously expected. Earlier this month, a report in the publication surfaced, claiming the iPad 2 would be available by the end of February.

For its part, Apple hasn't said anything about the iPad 2. And it's highly likely that the company won't reveal any details until it makes a formal announcement sometime in the new year. Realizing that, this latest DigiTimes report must be taken with a healthy heaping of salt until Apple confirms its claims.

Apple did not immediately respond to request for comment.