Fresh iPad 2 Rumors—Retina Display and USB Possible

 

According to Chinese language Economic Daily News, Apple’s iPad 2 will incorporate five new features that are sure to please tablet fans. The newspaper cites unnamed industry sources (Apple’s iOS lineup is built in China after all) that say the next generation of iPad will have video phone, better mobility, USB, new display technology and 3-axis gyroscopes. If some of those new features a little too vague for you, I’ve got the breakdown of what everyone thinks they really mean.

Video Phone

This is a no-brainer. The iPad 2 is widely expected to receive FaceTime support through front and rear facing cameras like the iPod touch 4 did. Omnivision is expected to be the manufacturer for the cameras and the rear-facing one should come in at 5 megapixels like on the iPhone 4. Also like on the iPhone 4, the front-facing camera will have a VGA resolution (0.3 megapixels).

Better Mobility

Better mobility could refer to either weight and thickness reduction or Apple finally producing an iOS device that can use Verizon’s wireless network. A Verizon compatible iPhone model is expected in early 2011 and rumors are already starting to pick up steam that the iPhone 5 will be a world phone and pack both CDMA and GSM radios on a single chip. This could go either way but with Verizon already selling the current iPad with a MiFi hotspot to use the carrier’s 3G network, I expect both—weight reduction and the ability to use the iPad on any network in the world.

USB

Apple has made it clear that the iPad is the device that bridges the gap between iOS and Mac OS X. A real USB connector (mini-USB of course) would let you plug in peripherals like a keyboard, external storage or a printer. Europe will eventually be implementing a law that requires companies to offer USB as a connectivity option and Apple might be having its hand forced here.

New Display technology

This probably refers to Apple’s high-resolution Retina Display that first appeared in the iPhone 4. If Apple keeps the insanely high resolution per pixel inch (PPI) of 326 for the iPad 2 that would be the most amazing screen ever designed. Figure that your standard 17” display at 1024×768 only has a PPI of approximately 75 and you have a recipe for a screen by which all other tablets will be judged. Also keep your eyes peeled for Gorilla Glass.

3-Axis Gyroscopes

The iPhone 4 has it so why not the iPad? Gyroscopes allow for much more precise orientation estimation than accelerometers alone. The iPod touch 4 also has the feature so fully expect the next iPad to implement this as well.

Like what the manufacturer leaks are saying? I’m getting more and more excited for Apple’s next iPad every day. RIM’s coming BlackBerry PlayBook will be out around the same time and really ups the competition with its hardware specs and new OS. Expect the tablet wars to really heat up early next year. Let me know what you think and what features you want implemented in the iPad 2!

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