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Apple iPad 2 Plus Rumour Hits The Headlines

An inbetweener Apple tablet may be in the pipeline according to an analyst who apparently has close ties with upstream component makers.

Apple Insider (opens in new tab) writes that Analyst Craig Berger from FBR Capital Markets mentions in a note to investors, that Apple may launch an intermediate tablet called the iPad 2 Plus later this year, as parts manufacturers have received RFQs (request for quotes) from Apple for a device that fits that description.

Berger notes: "We hear Apple could migrate the iPad's display resolution from a current pixel density of 132 (pixels per inch) to 250-300 ppi for the 'iPad 2 Plus' (note that the iPhone 4's screen is 326 ppi)".

He is however awaiting further proof from the supply chain in order to confirm that there will indeed be such a tablet.

The launch of an enhanced iPad 2 Plus tablet towards the end of the month may cause production issues at firms that normally supply those high resolution screens such as LG and Samsung (which interestingly both do tablets as well) because of a probable sudden rise in demand.

FBR Capital Markets reckons that nearly 11 million tablets will be built in the second quarter of 2011 with that number rising to 17 million in the third quarter as Apple's partners get into their stride.

That, Berger adds, means that Apple could potentially ship well over the targeted annual production of 45 million units; whether the iPad 2 Plus will be part of that mix remains to be seen.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.