iPad 2 reportedly enters production

iPad 2 – a refreshed version of the popular Apple tablet computer – is already in production, according to one new report. Cue the iPad 2 countdown.

iPad 2 is already in production, the Wall Street Journal has reported. Here, a user plays a game on the current edition of the Apple iPad.

IPad 2 – or whatever the heck Apple is going to call its refreshed iPad computer – has already entered production, according to a new report.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, reporters Yukari Iwatani Kane and Shayndi Raice reveal that Apple is already manufacturing a new edition of the iPad, which will "debut in the next couple of months at a similar price range as the current iPad." Somewhere in the $500 to $800 range, in other words, depending on whether users want 3G or just Wi-Fi capability.

Kane and Raice allege that the iPad 2 will be sold by both Verizon Wireless and AT&T – which matches up with an earlier item about a Verizon iPad 2 – widening the reach of the device. As the Journal notes, the original iPad has been a smash hit for Apple, to the tune of 14.8 million units shipped in less than a year. IPad sales currently constitute 17 percent of Apple's overall revenue, a pretty amazing figure, no matter which way you slice it.

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Among the flood of iPad 2 gossip is a rumor – first floated by Boy Genius Report – that the iPad 2 would ship without a home button. "Instead of button taps, you will use new multitouch gestures to navigate to the home screen and also to launch the app switcher," wrote a staffer at BGR. The Journal doesn't have much to say about the missing home button.

But the paper does note that the iPad will come equipped with a front-facing camera for video chat, and an improved processor.

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