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Rumor: iPad 2 to have a flat back and wide-range speaker?

In July, we ran a piece on what changes Apple should make to the iPad 2. We requested a higher resolution screen, front and back cameras, increased storage, 4G connectivity, and more. Good news, everyone: it looks like the company listened.

Japanese blog MacOtakara (via AppleInsider) has uncovered some rumored specs and a render for the second generation iPad. While these are unverified, at best, the changes appear to make sense.

Most notably, the site contends that the next iPad will have the same 9.7 inch screen as the original, but its back will resemble the styling of an iPod Touch. “The LCD screen will remain the same in size and the back face shape of the case will be flat like an iPod touch,” the site wrote, citing anonymous Chinese sources.

In addition, the lower right of the unit has a “wide-range speaker” and the unit may have two cameras, one front-facing. Here’s MacOtakara again: “It is unreliable information but new iPad may have two cameras. One in the front is for FaceTime and the other in the back is the same quality as iPhone 4. The rear camera will be able to take movies.”

apple-ipad2-rumored-flat-back-speaker

These changes seem to correct most of the criticisms of the first iPad. Some complain that the round back isn’t practical for use on a hard surface. Also, get out those rulers because the new iPad will measure 239 mm by 186 mm, a reduction of about 3 mm from the current iPad (242.8 x 189.7).

More interesting, the unit may ship in January or February, according to whoever leaked the info. This info is odd, since Apple usually sticks to its guns and releases sequel products about once every 12 months. The iPad debuted in April, 2010.

Analyst Brian Marshall of Gleacher & Co. recently told ComputerWorld that Apple would 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.”

iPad owners: what do you think of the proposed changes or release date?

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