updated 06:00 pm EST, Wed December 22, 2010
iPad 2 rumor focuses on audio, iPod touch look
A new rumor today potentially clarified some of the details of the next iPad. A Chinese contact has supplied unusually detailed specs to Mac Otakara which reiterate that the iPad will keep the 9.7-inch screen but use a design similar to that of the iPod touch (mocked up here), but with an emphasis on audio. The mystery back slot on recent case leaks is for a larger, better-sounding speaker, the source said.
The rear five-megapixel camera and front VGA camera were already known but have been supplemented with unusually detailed dimensions. The new iPad's back would be flatter like the iPod's, but the dimensions would be overall smaller, losing exactly 3mm (0.11 inches) of thickness but also 3.7mm (0.15 inches) of width and a near equal amount in height. Subtler changes would involve a redesigned ambient light sensor, although the 3G antennas on the relevant version would stay in the same place.
Production has purportedly already started with shipments due in mid-to-late January, although this might only be delivery from assembly to Apple and not to customers. An earlier tip had Foxconn shipping in February but the actual launch waiting until April, when Apple would have enough stock on hand.
The claim is unconfirmed and could be inaccurate, but it roughly lines up with earlier claims and what Chinese contractors would need to know for some elements of manufacturing. Other rumors have mentioned a possible higher-resolution LCD and a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 chip, but the presence of an SD card slot has largely been ruled out. [via iLounge]