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Expect to see Apple’s iPad 2 in April — a year after the original iPad hit store shelves — according to a report by Digitimes, which points out that Apple has also added five new printed circuit board (PCB) suppliers for the tablet.
Additionally, there’s a chance that the iPad 2 will sport the same cameras being used in the most recent iPod Touch, 9to5 Mac reports.
Digitimes says that the new PCB suppliers will begin shipping “any-layer HDI” PCBs — a technique that leads to finer circuit patterns, which are ideal for phones and tablets — in small amounts between late February and early March, with mass shipments set to begin in April. The news fits in with a previous Digitimes report that said Apple would begin shipping iPad 2s in February and have the device available for sale in April.
As for the camera news, all signs are pointing to the iPad 2 having front and rear cameras, the real question now is what their resolution will be. If 9to5Mac’s information — which was dug up from an Apple developer kit — is to be believed, the iPad 2 will sport a VGA quality front-facing camera and a 1 megapixel rear camera. Those specs are about the same as what the current iPod Touch supports.
News of a front-facing VGA camera isn’t a huge surprise, but it’s disappointing. The iPhone 4 features a similar VGA-quality front camera, but other tablets like Samsung’s Galaxy Tab feature higher quality 1 megapixel shooter. A rear 1 megapixel camera definitely seems too low — the Galaxy Tab offers a 3 megapixel rear camera.
I wouldn’t get too upset yet, though, as there’s a very good chance the information 9to5Mac pulled hasn’t yet been updated with correct specifications for the iPad 2.