iPad: New models rumoured for 2011 first-quarter delivery
A report today in Digitimes discloses that Apple will launch new iPad models in January featuring a new ARM Cortex-A9-based processor. There will be two models, an updated version of the current 9.7in device and a smaller 7-inch pad with a resulution of 1024x768. The larger model, at least, will get 512MB of RAM instead of the current model's 256MB.
The current iPad is currently a world best-seller with limited availability in most markets; it is also the only successful tablet device available and other manufacturers, despite leaks and promises, have failed to offer competition. The uprated models will only serve to fuel the demand. My view is that rumoured 7-inch iPad will be a major hit because many people consider the current model to be on the far side of comfortable. A smaller device but with a higher-resolution screen will be a hit with news viewers and book readers in particular. About the only activity where the larger screen is an advantage is in viewing video.
Digitimes also refers to the increasing slew of rumours of a CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) iPhone for use on the Verizon network in the USA. Verizon is expected to announce the iPhone at CES in January. This is a significant move for the US market where a great deal of criticism has been directed at Apple for keeping the iPhone exclusive to AT&T. It's of little significance for most international markets where GSM systems rule the roost. Surprisingly, Digitimes Research says that the ratio of GSM to CMDA iPhone sales in 2011 is expected to reach 65:35. While it isn't clear, I infer that this relates to the US market only.