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iPad to lose weight, gain eye

Chinese already ramping up production

DVD it in many colours

Next year's iPad will have a front facing camera, a higher-resolution screen and lose a bit of weight too, Chinese sources have been telling Reuters.

Factories are already ramping up for production of the new iPad, with a view to an early 2011 launch, which would fit Apple's usual schedule of product releases. Reuters reckons the usual manufacturers are already gearing up and will start spitting out the new, improved, fondle slabs next year.

None of the enhancements is particularly surprising, and neither is the schedule for launch, both of which lend credence to the report in a business that usually abounds with rumour and speculation. Reuters claims to have heard the details from multiple sources, though admits that the front-mounted camera detail comes from only one of them.

That source also claimed the new iPad will feature a higher resolution screen, and will be lighter and thinner too. Increasing the resolution risks fragmenting the iOS platform, and we'd be concerned that a thinner and lighter iPad will be vulnerable to snapping – but such fears have proved unfounded before.

The iPad is facing increased competition from Android-based alternatives, but nothing to really frighten Cupertino.

Next year will see the launch of RIM's PlayBook and the tablet-friendly version of Android, Gingerbread, so this time next year we should see some proper competition in the fondle-slab space. ®

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