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Apple's next-gen iPad to have three models, including CDMA - rumor

In addition to the existing Wi-Fi-only and UMTS models, Apple's forthcoming second-generation iPad will also have a third, Verizon-compatible CDMA version, according to a new rumor.

Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes reported Tuesday that Apple is expected to build Wi-Fi, UMTS and CDMA models of the next iPad in a respective build ratio of 3:4:3. Production of the device is expected to start as early as the first half of January, with about a half-million iPads expected to be assembled.

Citing industry sources, the report claimed that between 60 and 65 percent of current iPad shipments are the UMTS 3G model. Because of this, Apple is expected to work even more closely with wireless partners for the second-generation tablet.

"In addition to wireless functions, Apple is also working on strengthening the iPad 2's anti-smudge and anti-reflective treatments in order to compete against Kindle and attract more consumers," the report said.

Sources estimated that Apple will produce about 40 million iPads in 2011, accounting for as much as three-quarters of the tablet market. That estimate is significantly lower than the 6 million per month capacity reported by DigiTimes earlier this month.

The report also indicated that Apple is expected to have shipped about 16 million iPads in 2010, and between 2 million and 3 million units will remain in the channel at the start of 2011. That number is expected to satisfy demand as Apple gradually stops production of the first-generation device, in time for the debut of "iPad 2."

Earlier this month, DigiTimes reported that Apple passed on an active-matrix organic LED display in its second-generation iPad because of constrained supplies of the displays. Those insufficient supplies have allegedly prompted Apple to stick with a backlit LCD display for the forthcoming device.