Verizon iPad 2 could ship in early 2011

iPad 2 rumors have been ripping around the Web for the past month or so. Now come reports of a Verizon iPad 2.

Verizon iPad 2? Well, stranger things have happened. Here, an Apple iPad is shown at a store in Moscow.

Apple is preparing a CDMA-capable edition of the iPad 2, which would allow the second-generation – and thus far quasi-mythicaliPad to work on the Verizon data network. That's the news this week from the folks at DigiTimes, a Taiwanese paper that has reported extensively – and usually accurately – on the development of new Apple devices.

According to DigiTimes, Apple will sell a grand total of three different varieties of iPad 2 units in 2011. The first iPad 2 will come equipped with only a Wi-Fi antenna. The second iPad 2 will come equipped with a 3G antenna and a Wi-Fi antenna, making the tablet compatible (as is now the case) with the AT&T network. The third iPad unit would ship with Wi-Fi and CDMA antennas, the latter being the configuration used by Verizon and Sprint.

In other words, a Verizon iPad 2 is on the way.

But is the DigiTimes scoop the real deal? Maybe. Although this is the first piece of news about a CDMA-capable iPad 2, plenty of sources – including DigiTimes – have reported that Apple is readying a second-generation tablet computer. In late November, for instance, Economic News Daily, an English-language Taiwanese paper, alleged that the iPad 2 would include FaceTime functionality, a pair of cameras – one on each side – and a USB port.

Then in early December, the gossip got even more specific. Parts manufacturers quoted by DigiTimes said the first shipment of next-gen iPads will total 400,000 to 600,000 units, and arrive on store shelves in April. "I think April is the proper time-frame for an iPad 2," Brian Marshall, an analyst with the firm Gleacher and Company, recently told Computerworld, noting that a new iPad and a Verizon iPhone would "help to equalize Apple's seasonality."

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