We’re starting to reach a speculative consensus on what sort of hardware changes we’ll be seeing in the iPad 2, with the latest analyst report claiming it will contain a better quality (but non-Retina) display, faster chips, separate CDMA and GSM SKUs, and iPod Touch style dual cameras when it is released in March or April.
According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of Concord Securities, the iPad 2’s new display will focus on anti-reflection in a form factor up to 35% thinner than the first-gen iPad. Kuo believes that Apple wants to better compete with the Kindle for the e-reader market by making it easier to read text in direct sunlight.
As for what SoC the iPad 2 will use, Kuo confirms that their A5 CPU will most likely be an ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core processor running at 1.2GHz, noting that “1~2% single core processor clock results in a 3~5% power increase and dual core could get a better balance between computing power and power consumption.”
Kuo also believes the iPad 2 will have 512MB of RAM, Imagination’s SGX543 dual core graphics chip, and that the iPad will have the current-gen iPod Touch’s lower-res dual camera sensors instead of the iPhone 4s higher quality cameras.
Ultimately, Kuo believes the iPad 2 will go to market either late in March or in April, based on supply chain shipment information, and he believes that there will be at least 4.5 – 5 million units available in the first quarter alone.