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Analyst: iPad 2 to sport dual-core chip

The iPad 2 will feature a dual-core processor, according to an analyst's note. If true, this would be a first for Apple's consumer line of handheld products.

Will the next iPad sport a dual-core chip?
Will the next iPad have a dual-core chip?

An analyst's note today claims Apple's iPad 2 will adopt a dual-core chip, which would be a first for the company's consumer line of handheld products. True or not, Apple's iPad will eventually have to make the jump to dual-core to compete with the likes of the upcoming Motorola tablet and RIM PlayBook--both dual-core devices.

"Apple is on track to refresh the iPad by March and iPhone by late summer. A key component upgrade across these platforms will be a dual-core processor featuring a pair of 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 cores," according to a research note released on Thursday by Ashok Kumar, an analyst at Rodman & Renshaw.

Using a dual-core processor can result in PC-like multitasking, if the operating system is designed to fully take advantage of both cores. And note that he expects the iPhone to get a dual-core upgrade, too.

Kumar also cited an iPad supply-demand equilibrium. "iPad supply has largely satiated demand and Apple can sustain quarterly shipments at around 6 million/quarter. At these levels, Apple would capture about half the forecasted market for 2011," Kumar wrote.

And he also addressed the Verizon iPhone. "iPhone volumes could also be maintained at the 15 million/quarter level through next year. The launch at Verizon could support an incremental 8 million units," he wrote.