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Analyst claims April 2011 release for iPad 2

ipad-boxes-store-shelfThe much-talked-about iPad 2 seems almost a certainty thanks to the originals’ record-breaking sales volume, but even amid early rumors of FaceTime and support for multiple carriers, “when” has remained a question. Now it looks like April may be the magic month.

Analyst Brian Marshall of Gleacher & Co. told ComputerWorld that Apple will stick to the same annual release pattern it uses for the iPhone and iPods. “I think April is the proper time-frame for an iPad 2,” Marshall said. “Since I’m projecting that Apple will release a CDMA iPhone in March, both will help to equalize Apple’s seasonality.”

The analyst’s  assumption is bolstered by a rumor that Apple has commissioned several companies to manufacture the iPad 2’s HDI (high density interconnect) boards in early February. The story originates from the Taiwanese paper Digitimes, which has had a hit or miss record with Apple rumors in the past.

The estimated date certainly makes sense, and coupled with the dramatic price-cuts from certain retailers on the original iPad, Apple may very well be cleaning house in preparation for the imminent release of the second-generation tablet.

Regardless of the official launch date, enthusiasts can certainly start getting excited about a myriad of rumored features, not the least of which is the ability to run on various carriers. Other potential upgrades include two cameras located on either side of the pad (mirroring the iPhone 4 design) and a switch from Apple’s proprietary connection to mini-USB. When the iPad 2 does launch, one thing is for certain—it will be a dream come true for Apple fanatics.