Analyst: Faster CPU coming to two new iPads in 2011

Ever notice how Apple updates its devices about once a year? That's no accident. Back in 2006, Steve Jobs famously said he expected consumers to buy a new iPod every year to ensure they had the latest and greatest. True to form, the iPhone has been updated about once a year since its initial release. According to a DigiTime analyst, the iPad is next in line.

DigiTimes Research senior analyst Mingchi Kuo expects Apple to release two new iPad models next year. A new processor based on ARM's Cortex-A9 will reportedly make its way into both devices, one of which will retain the current iPad's 9.7" screen. The second unit is said to have a 7" IPS panel with the same 1024x768 display resolution as its big brother.

The iPad may need an update before long, because it will soon face real competition from other slates. Numerous Android-based tablets are expected to hit the market before the end of the year, and we could see units based on Windows 7 and Palm's webOS. Also, the rumors say RIM's BlackPad will arrive in November with a $499 asking price that lines up nicely with the current base iPad configuration. According to Apple Daily's sources, RIM has placed an order for two million units this year, with another eight million planned for production in 2011. In just four months, Apple has already sold more than three million iPads.

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