updated 07:20 am EST, Fri November 19, 2010
Analyst claims to know new 3G iPad is dual-mode
Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair on Friday said Apple's future iPad would have a dual-mode chip to support both EVDO and HSPA for 3G. Referring to supplier checks, he was told the new model would be a "World iPad" with a Qualcomm chip that could support networks like AT&T's and Verizon's without needing separate models. Production for current models would wind down over the next two months as Apple prepared to switch over.
The investigations also backed notions of camera additions with "at least" a front facing camera. Its design would be thinner than the original with a design more directly based on unibody construction, with no pins needed to join it together. Current iPads have a single aluminum back but need pins around the display frame to hold the two in place.
While analysts can rarely confirm details and are sometimes wrong, the details correlate with talk of raw component suppliers shipping for assembly in December and with details mentioned in the past. Qualcomm has been repeatedly associated with both iPad and iPhone production since it has near dominance of CDMA and EVDO.
While at least the iPhone 4 adaptation is expected to be limited to CDMA carriers only, a dual-mode iPad would be Apple's most logical option given its existing sales strategy. The present-day tablet is sold unlocked and without a data plan, even in AT&T stores, and thus has a simpler business model than the frequently locked smartphone. Supporting both EVDO and HSPA would let customers buy a single device from any store and activate it for whichever provider they want, only when they want to use it.