iPad 2 may include camera and 7-inch screen

iPad

Look for big changes with the next version of the iPad.

A veteran technology analyst says the next generation of the iPad will be a smaller version, with a 7-inch screen and cameras that support Apple’s FaceTime video conferencing application, as reported by Bloomberg.

Ashok Kumar, of Rodman & Renshaw, said he has good reason to believe these features are almost a certainty based on conversations with Asian component manufacturers that are contracted by Apple.

If Apple does shrink the 9.7-inch iPad, it would probably make it more competitive against the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy and a range of other tablets that seem to have struck a happy balance between the iPad and the iPhone.

The Galaxy, which runs Google’s Android mobile operating system, has had a positive reception. It’s size has struck a positive balance between the smaller cellphones and the bulky tablets such as the iPad. It also has front and rear facing cameras, pushing it to the head of the competition against Apple.

The new iPad is expected to ship in early 2011.

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