Apple readying three iPad 2 designs

According to the latest fear-eastern whispers, Apple is preparing to capitalise on the success of its iPad with three new designs lined up for early 2011.

iPad 2 will arrive during the first quarter of the year, with some units heading for Apple outlets as early as January, if mutterings within earshot of Taiwanese news outfit Digtimes are to be believed.

Little is known of the three flavours of device mooted and the difference betwixt and between the three may simply be one of which network each supports, with combinations of Wi-Fi, UMTS and CDMA suggested.

Apple is apparently focused on the idea that most iPad owners like to connect to the Internet all the time and is working on different ways of wirelessly connecting up iPad 2 as well as improving anti-smudge and anti-reflective treatments, manufacturing sources say.

Some three million iPads are still to be sold, some 16 million having been shipped in total, according to component makers' numbers. These are likely to be the last of the original device to be made as mass production shifts to iPad 2 in the coming days and weeks.

Manufacturers expect to build some 40 million iPad 2s during 2011, with a total forecast market of some 70 million flat computers.