Apple iPad Update May Debut in June 2011 With Mini USB Drive


Apple reportedly is gearing up to add a mini USB drive and a built-in camera to the next version of its mega-revenue-driving iPad, according to a Goldman Sachs report cited by Bloomberg Tuesday.

The iPad, which debuted earlier this year and sold over 3 million in the first 80 days, is expected to undergo an update in the second quarter, the report notes. Some of the other changes expected to come include a thinner model that is lighter to carry.

Other Wall Street soothsayers expect a new version of Apple's iPad may hit as early as the first quarter and possibly include a smaller seven-inch screen, compared with its current 9.7-inch display, according to an earlier Bloomberg report.

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Apple's (AAPL) iPad, once criticized by naysayers as an iPod touch on steroids or a second class citizen to the iPhone, has raced ahead since its April debut to garner a significant share of Apple's sales. In the second quarter, iPad unit shipments nearly reached the same level as the Apple Macs.

As talk of an iPad upgrade begins to filter out ahead of the busy holiday selling season, the effect could create a slowdown in iPad sales as shoppers hold off buying the current version in anticipation of one with a few more bells and whistles. Apple may rely on the old ace in the hole and slash prices to drive sales. That strategy, however, does well for revenues but hurts the bottom line.

Apple shares were down 2.63% to $283.51 in morning trading, compared with its close Monday.