Apple launching iPad 2 Plus for Christmas?

This week we've seen a couple of stories hinting at a new iPad model. But an analyst has gone one step further, claiming a new iPad device will be here before the end of 2011.

Not an iPad 3 though. According to Slashgear, analyst Craig Berger from FBR Capital Markets claims Apple is looking at producing an enhanced device with a high resolution display, specifically using panels in the 250-300 pixels-per-inch (ppi) range, rather than the 132 ppi of the existing iPad 2. That would be a market leader for tablets.

'There are some indications from the supply chain that Apple may look to introduce an 'iPad 2 Plus' device,' Berger said in an investor note this week, 'as they put out request for quotes from various component suppliers for this marginally different device.'

It does tie in well with other rumours this week, specifically with DigiTimes reporting that production of the iPad as well as the iPhone was being stepped up from September, which does hint at a new device in time for the festive season.

On the flipside, why would Apple launch new product so soon after the last? It risks alienating and annoying existing customers, who will only have had the latest design for weeks or months. Only time will tell – and not much time if shipping does start in September or October.

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