Apple is preparing a CDMA-GSM iPad that would overshadow the current 3G version, an analyst wrote Friday. The report also suggests the new iPad would follow the design of Apple’s recent unibody MacBooks.
Supplier checks “suggest Apple is going to be ratcheting down production of the existing 3G iPad over the next two months in anticipation of ramping up a new World iPad that is powered by Qualcomm and will run both GSM and CDMA based networks around the world,” according to Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair.
Along with the previously-mentioned front-facing camera, an iPad 2, the new unit “is thinner than the existing model and is essentially made from one piece of meta with no pins needed,” Blair adds. “We understand it requires a new type of manufacturing process as a result, similar to the company’s unibody approach seen in MacBooks.”
Given those details, Apple is set build around 48 million iPads in calendar 2011, according to the analyst.
News of a CDMA-GSM iPad comes on the heels of Verizon joining AT&T in selling the current iPad. Verizon began selling the iPad 3G and the iPad Wi-Fi bundled with the carrier’s MiFi Hotspot device in late October.