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iPad 2 'Plus' could launch this year - analyst

Craig Berger of FBR Capital Markets expects revamped iPad 2 with higher res display

Apple could launch a third-generation iPad before the end of the year, according to one analyst.

Apple Insider reports that Craig Berger of FBR Capital Markets raised the possibility of an 'iPad 2 Plus' launching this year in a note to investors.

"We hear Apple could migrate the iPad's display resolution from a current pixel density of 132 (pixels per inch) to 250-300 ppi for the 'iPad 2 Plus' (note that the iPhone 4's screen is 326 ppi)," he wrote.

The reason for the 'iPad 2 Plus' name is that the screen will be the only change from the iPad 2. However, Berger sounded a note of caution, saying that he wouldn't fully believe that a new iPad would launch this year without further evidence.

The report comes on the back of rumours suggesting that an iPad 3 could launch in October, in conjunction with the iPhone 5.

However, the iPad 2 is selling well and analysts expect it to sell as many as 14 million units in the third quarter of 2011, with an equivalent number of sales in Q4. So it seems fairly unlikely that Apple would want to rush a product to market that only had one upgraded feature and wasn't even worthy of being called the iPad 3.

But it isn't the first time the rumour of an iPad 3 launching in 2011 has cropped up even before the launch of the iPad 2.

One of the most persistent rumours about the iPad 3 is that it will have an increased pixel density offering a higher resolution, though rumour-mongers seem undecided as to whether the resolution will be high enough for it to be a true 'retina' display, as sported by the iPhone 4.


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