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Brian White of Ticonderoga Securities said this week that suppliers contacted during a trip to Taipei indicated that Apple plans to launch a new iPad in the first quarter of the 2011 calendar year. In addition to having a smaller 7-inch size, he also said the device will have a "micro or mini USB" port.
The information is similar to what Goldman Sachs said in late September, including the addition of a USB port. If true, the addition of a new port could be a result of the European Union making MicroUSB the default charging method for mobile devices.
White said the next-generation iPad will replace the first-generation iPad when it is released next year. He made no mention of Apple maintaining the 9.7-inch model, though Goldman Sachs said the new 7-inch variety would be in addition to the current screen size.
The source also indicated that Apple could sell as many as 45 million iPad units in 2011. That's more than double Ticonderoga's projection of 21.8 million next year.
White also said that his overseas contact's company shipped more than 6 million iPad components (one per device) in the third quarter of calendar 2010, and expects to ship 7 million for the holiday season.
"These numbers are well above our iPad forecasts of 3.8 million in the September quarter and 5.37 million in the December quarter," he wrote. "Essentially, this equates to 13 million units for the second-half of (calendar year) 2010 versus our forecast of 9.17 million units."
Ticonderoga initiated its coverage of AAPL stock this week, with an in-depth 85-page note to analysts in which White said he believes the stock price will hit $430 in the next 12 months. The analyst said he believes the iPad will be the "most coveted gift this holiday season."