Rumor: Three iPad 2 Models, 65 Million to Ship in 2011

Can the iPad 2 take on Android and BlackBerry at once for tablet dominance in 2011?

The latest iPad 2 rumors point to three different models being released in 2011. While it makes sense that Apple would sell a Wi-Fi only version, a CDMA compatible model for Verizon’s network and a GSM compatible model for AT&T and possibly T-Mobile networks, things get tricky after that point. 65 million iPads could ship next year. Digitimes is the source of these rumors and cites the usual “industry sources.” BGR notes that the website has had a mixed history when it comes to accuracy so whether or not the 65 million iPad shipment number is anywhere close to being accurate is anyone’s guess. Then again…

Here is the breakdown on each of the rumors.

CDMA, GSM and Wi-Fi iPad 2s:

The current iPad comes in two flavors—Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi plus GSM. The GSM model is only compatible with AT&T’s cellular network. Verizon is selling iPads as well by bundling Wi-Fi only models with its MiFi mobile Internet hotspots. Since there is no exclusivity contract with AT&T like with the iPhone, nothing is stopping Apple from making a CDMA version for Verizon. Sprint could sell them as well. T-Mobile has been rumored to be a recipient of the iPad too. Honestly, since the current Wi-Fi model will work with any network through a mobile hotspot, Apple might as well get them out onto every carrier.

I am a bit disappointed that the rumor isn’t pointing to a single ‘world phone’ iPad 2 with both CDMA and GSM cellular radios inside but hey, I think we can live with each carrier getting the iPad.

65 Million iPads in 2011:

This rumor is quite a bit harder to swallow. A lot harder actually. (It should be noted that since the original iPad will certainly be made and sold in some quantities in the first part of 2011, these numbers include both the current model and the iPad 2 model.) Digitimes comes to its conclusion by noting that LG Display will be getting “orders for 35 million iPad panels [screens] in 2011.” Two other panel suppliers—Samsung and Chimei Innolux—will get orders for 15 million apiece.

Yep. That comes in at a total of 65 million. Since the iPad’s sales figures were severely hampered by manufacturing capacity in 2010, maybe Apple wants to be sure that nothing will stop it from taking on every Android tablet maker at once along with Research In Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook. Just a thought.

Let me know in the comments what you think!

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