5 Features for iPad 2

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Apple's [AAPL] iPad 2.0 is on its way, and new rumors emerging from the supply chain suggest there's a lot of truth in the recent 'What we think we know about iPad 2.0' report.

A Chinese language newspaper is reporting industry sources who claim Apple will add five new features to iPad 2:

  • Video phone
  • New display technology
  • 3-axis gyroscope
  • 'Better mobility'
  • USB

(I skipped the gyroscope in my recent report, but it makes sense as it is a feature now included within iPhone 4.)

The video phone feature likely means Apple will be fielding front and rear video cameras, most likely made by Omnivision, as recent reports claimed.

[This story is from Computerworld's Apple Holic blog. Follow on Twitter or subscribe via RSS to make sure you don't miss a beat.]

The new display technology? This seems set to be thinner, lighter and more pliable.

Could this mean 9.7-inch 'Gorilla Glass' and a Retina Display? The reports do suggest this, saying it will "enhance image and color output performance."

What does "better mobility" mean?

It could simply suggest Apple will be using new materials technology to make the device lighter.

But it could also be grist to the mill of recent speculation on part of Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair expects Apple will introduce a "World iPad" based on one of Qualcomm's multimode CDMA-GSM chips. An iPad you could take anywhere.

The final slice of speculation from out of Apple's supply chain is one I've rejected until now -- that Apple will deploy mini-USB for connection and sync of the device.

This will be good for users as it means we won't be tied to Apple's proprietary cable technology. The one rationale for Apple to make a move to this may be Europe, where regulators are preparing to make it a legal requirement that products sold use standard interconnects.

(Apple haters frequently criticize me for seeming to have no criticism of Apple, but one thing I do deplore is the company's penchant for demanding use of non-standard interconnects for which it charges a premium price. I think that's a deplorable practice for a billion dollar company. Inteconnects should be standard, or cheap when they aren't.)

This notion of a new interconnect has legs.

This is because this week Patently Apple confirmed Apple's latest iPad design patent features a landscape connector. The report also has an image taken from the patent, reproduced with permission below.

This will mean that you will have a full landscape monitor to work with when you plug your iPad into Apple's keyboard kit, for example. This would make the iPad an even more effective netbook/notebook replacement.

Wrapping-up, it seems there'll be a lot of people wrapping up their iPads this year -- the product is currently at the top of teenage Christmas wish lists according to Nielsen.

If you plan on buying one for your kids today, take a look at this for a few apps hints for shopping today, and do be sure to compare prices between Amazon and Apple, which appear to be highly competitive at present.

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This story, "5 Features for iPad 2" was originally published by Computerworld.

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