The next generation Apple iPad may be a world device with both GSM and CDMA radios integrated into the tablet device. According to analyst Brian Blair of Wedge Partners, Qualcomm will supply the multi-mode chip that will allow the iPad to be carried by both Verizon and AT&T in the U.S. This is good news for Verizon customers as the current iPad comes bundled with a MiFi hotspot for 3G mobile broadband access.
A dual-radio would liberate the iPad from the WiFi hotspot and let Apple produce one tablet device compatible with most major cellular networks. Though not explicitly mentioned, it would be nice if this GSM/CDMA chipset supported T-Mobile’s flavor of 3G, not just AT&T’s.
The iPad 2 is expected to debut early next year and a report of out DigiTimes suggests component suppliers are preparing to ramp up production. According to the report, Ibiden, Tripod Technology, and TTM Technologies will supply the first round of PCBs for the next generation iPad. The three companies have been certified by Apple are preparing a low volume of components for December 2010. The trio will ramp up production in early 2011 and will be joined by other four other suppliers in February 2011.
According to earlier rumors, the next generation Apple iPad will make its debut in early 2011, one year after the first iPad was made available to consumers. In addition to GSM/CDMA connectivity, the iPad 2 is rumored to include both a front and rear-facing camera similar to the fourth generation iPod touch. The presence of cameras would further expand the devices capable of interacting using Apple’s Facetime video chat tool which currently includes the iPhone 4, iPod touch, and Mac OS X computers with a Facetime camera.