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Friday, November 19, 2010, 05:05 am PT (08:05 am ET)

Apple's next-gen iPad rumored with world mode GSM-CDMA radio

The 3G model of Apple's next-generation iPad will be a "world mode" device with both GSM and CDMA radios, allowing Apple to sell one model for integrated wireless access, according to a new rumor.

Analyst Brian Blair from Wedge Partners said in a note to investors that Apple is developing a new iPad with a Qualcomm multimode CDMA-GSM chips built in. In the U.S., such a chip would allow the iPad to run on both AT&T and Verizon networks, which use different wireless technology.

The addition of a CDMA iPad to Apple's product line would not come as a major surprise, as Apple has already begun selling the iPad through Verizon. However, because the 3G model is not compatible with Verizon's CDMA network, the carrier offers the Wi-Fi-only model bundled with a MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot for connectivity on the go.

Blair also indicated that the new iPad will be thinner and will have a forward-facing camera. In September, AppleInsider reported that Apple plans to move aggressively in pushing FaceTime, with future plans including a camera-equipped iPad.

"The new iPad is thinner than the existing model and is essentially made from one piece of metal with no pins needed," Blair wrote. "We understand it requires a new type of manufacturing process as a result, similar to the company's unibody approach seen in MacBooks."