Apple is expected to release three versions of iPad 2, supporting either or a combination of Wi-Fi, UMTS and CDMA, for 2011 with mass production to start as early as the later half of January. Apple will ship about 500,000-530,000 units to channels in January with shipment ratio of Wi-Fi, UMTS and CDMA models at 3:4:3, according to industry sources, citing upstream component makers.
The sources pointed out that about 60-65% of current iPad shipments are 3G models, indicating that consumers prefer models that are able to connect to the Internet all the time, therefore Apple is aiming to work even more closely with telecom carriers by offering more wireless solutions for iPad 2 to satisfy market demand. 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 sources noted. The sources estimate that the device’s shipments in 2011 will reach 40 million units, accounting for 65-75% of the global tablet PC market.