That is a question that many will be asking now that the news is flying about an updated version of the device, said to be in consumers’ hands as early as next spring. The current iPad is starting to gain some real traction in the workplace, with many people expected to begin using one as an adjunct to a desktop computer, or possibly in the place of a laptop while on the go. Those that don’t think they need one, know they want one, so the demand is high.

The indicators of a new model in the works are everywhere, with the odd places for technology like TJMaxx having them on Black Friday at a substantial discount (for an Apple product, $100 off is substantial), and the device’s accessories being sold at places heretofore only interested in non-electronic items.

From InformationWeek, ComputerWorld, and a few other places there are speculations about what will comprise the differences in the version 2.0 of the iPad. Most are stating it will be thinner, and speculating what materials and methods will be used to achieve the reduction in size. There are some stating that carbon fiber will be used, though that would be a bad trend, as it surely would increase the price of the device by more than a small amount, and also, carbon fiber is brittle – no one is going to want to see their iPad cracked in half, or worse. Others, and probably more correctly, are speculating that the iPad 2.0 will be delivered in a package much like the Air model now, with a unibody of aluminum, and new methods of placing the components into the chassis.

The prognosticators are all seeing at least one camera in the new version, with many talking about 2 being used, for conferencing purposes. Whether one or two, it will offer what many in business want – the ability to see who is at the other end of the connection.

Speaking of the other end of the connection – that is an entire category of speculation in itself. Which chipset will the newest iPad include? Will it be a GSM chipset, like the current iPhone, or will it venture into a wider realm, with the Qualcomm GSM/CDMA chipset allowing connection to the Verizon, or possibly Sprint networks? There is more reason to have a CDMA compatibility than for the U.S.; Japan has lots of CDMA handsets in use, and the Japanese are all about using the best method to do things. Will it be tied to a certain provider? There is a lot of speculation here, because why should people be tied to a carrier of Apple’s choosing, instead of their own? How many will remove the cell phone from their pocket, and carry the iPad under their arm at work instead?

With headlines that seem rather silly, claiming that iPad has 95% of the tablet market, Apple does have a huge number here, and now must fight to keep it. It is a much different perspective than being the little guy, clawing for a few percent of the overall pie. The company will want to make no missteps here, for somewhat like the midnight ride of Paul Revere (yes, I know it wasn’t really Revere) the cry is on the lips of many – “The Androids are coming! The Androids are coming!”

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