Apple iPad Processor, 7-Inch Update Coming, Report Says

Apple will update the iPad with an ARM Cortex-A9-based processor, as well as release a 7-inch version, according to Digitimes Research. Rumors of a new iPad and Verizon iPhone have been circulating.

Apple will launch an upgraded iPad in early 2011, alongside a smaller version of the popular tablet, according to a report from Digitimes Research.

Digitimes Research predicts that the upgraded iPad will feature an ARM Cortex-A9-based processor and 512MB RAM, and will launch in the first quarter of 2011. That same processor will also power a 7-inch iPad, according to Digitimes Research analyst Mingchi Kuo.

In addition, the company predicts a new Apple TV and a Verizon iPhone that will ship in January 2011. "As for the CDMA [Code Division Multiple Access] iPhone, Pegatron Technology is expected to start mass production in December and will supply to both U.S.-based Verizon Wireless and China-based China Telecom," said an Aug. 9 note on the Digitimes Website. "The CDMA iPhone's back plate will be forged from metal materials and will feature an integrated antenna."

Rumors of a Verizon iPhone have been circulating for several days. "Sources with knowledge of this entire situation have assured me that Apple has submitted orders for millions of units of Qualcomm CDMA chipsets for a Verizon iPhone run due in December," Steve Cheney posted Aug. 8 on TechCrunch. "This production run would likely be for a January launch, and I'd bet the phone is nearly 100 [percent] consistent with the current iPhone 4 (with a fixed insulator on the antenna)."

That TechCrunch report coincided with a new Securities and Exchange Commission filing by AT&T that hinted that the carrier was preparing to lose its exclusive lock on the iPhone: "While the expiration of any of our current exclusivity arrangements could increase churn and reduce postpaid customer additions, we do not expect any such terminations to have a material negative impact on our wireless segment income, consolidated operating margin or our cash from operations," AT&T said.

There have also been rumors of a new, smaller iPad.

"Take this report with the requisite grains of salt, but here's what we've heard about the upcoming late 2010/early 2011 iPod, iPhone and iPad lineups from a highly reliable source," Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Horwitz posted on iLounge Aug. 4. "Our sources' accuracy level is very high but not perfect, which is about as good as can be expected given the nature of Apple-related leaks."

Horwitz's unnamed source apparently predicted a 7-inch iPad for either a late 2010 or early 2011 release. But time will tell whether any of these rumors prove true.