Next Generation

iPad 2 Next Generation Hardware Coming April 2011?

A long list of souped-up features could be on its way to the next generation iPad. Analysts are now expecting the device to be released between March and April 2011 with a bevy of new hardware and improvements. Top on the list are a slimmer profile and lighter weight. One way Apple may be considering dramatically reducing the weight in an iPad 2: a carbon fiber body.

Apple iPad 2 carbon fiber back

A patent has been revealed that shows Apple's take on a carbon fiber (CFRP) tablet construction. This would not only dramatically reduce weight, but by replacing aluminum in the current model it could improve Wi-Fi and 3G reception. Currently, plastic windows in the metal back making up the Apple logo and at the top of the iPad 3G are required for antennas.

Next Generation iPad Coming in 2010?

No way. Leave it to DigiTimes to keep the iPad rumor mill in full swing. The publication has reported that new iPad models could be on the way as early as fourth quarter 2010. Considering that Apple has had a difficult enough time delivering three million units sold to date, this doesn't sound very likely.

Apple iPad Future Models

In the same report, DigiTimes cites sources in the industry who claim Apple has placed orders for OLED screens from Taiwanese component maker Compal. The current iPad features an IPS LCD display, the most expensive single component featured in the hardware design. OLED screens are still more expensive to produce, and even OLED giant Samsung Electronics is having trouble fulfilling orders for its own products.

Report: Next Generation iPad to Feature OLED Screen

Sure the iPad 3G hasn't even shipped yet, but of course Apple likes to keep things on the cutting edge. Taiwan-based newspaper DigiTimes reports that Apple plans to use an OLED display in the second-generation iPad design. The paper, which is focused on the supply side of the electronics and communications industries, claims that sources in the component industry are aware of Apple's OLED intentions.

The video above demonstrates a Samsung OLED prototype screen. Apple is expected to refresh the iPad line next year with a variety of improvements. A new operating system is already slated for release this fall. An OLED screen would dramatically improve battery life and significantly decrease the weight and thickness of a future iPad.

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