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New iPad 2 with FaceTime Expected in Q1 2011

iPad 2 with FaceTime video calling is coming ahead of schedule according to Apple Insider who cite “a person with proven knowledge of Apple’s future product plans”. They say Q1 of next year, but perhaps as soon as before the holiday season.

Q1 2011 wouldn’t really be ahead of schedule, however, as that’s pretty much when we expect them. (iPad was announced at the beginning of Q1 2010 and shipped just after the end of Q1, not a huge difference). Before the holidays of this year, however, would be a change.

Apple has already secured three iPad 2 parts suppliers, Ibiden, Tripod Technology and TTM Technologies, and will be adding four more suppliers in February. The report notes that the three named suppliers have received final certification from Apple and will begin shipping limited quantities of any-layer HDI boards next month.

Apple’s second-generation iPad is rumored to gain a front-facing camera for FaceTime video calling, faster chips, more RAM, a mini-USB port, as well as a ‘Smart Bezel’ feature. Apple has even already shot their ads for the next-generation iPad and our report on this indicated that the iPad 2 will feature a form-factor that is similar to the current generation product.

Well, pushing FaceTime throughout iOS would be great. Pushing it to Windows and Mac would be fantastic. Pushing it out as a completed open standard that anyone else, from Google to Palm to Microsoft to Nokia to BlackBerry and back are implementing would dent at least our small corner of the universe.

At least until multi-person FacesTime calls come next year…