Raise your hand if you greeted the news that Verizon would begin selling iPads with "Huzzah!" — only to turn around and mutter "Oh, great" when it turned out they were just selling Wi-Fi iPads, and if you wanted 3G connectivity you'd have to spring for Verizon's external MiFi hub? How about a REAL Verizon iPad 3G?
You may actually get your wish. Brian Blair, an analyst with Wedge Partners, is convinced that a dual-mode iPad — one that would work on both Verizon's CDMA network and the GSM protocol used by the rest of the globe — is in the offing. Based on his research into Qualcomm (whose CDMA chips power much of the Verizon phone fleet), Blair believes the semiconductor company will be pairing a multimode CDMA/GSM chip with future iPads. The new dual-mode iPad would supplant the existing 3G model, manufacturing of which would be tapered off over the next few months.
Blair also speculates that Apple will build nearly 48 million iPads in 2011, which will also feature a front-facing camera and a slimmer design.
While we've reported on numerous stories of a CDMA or dual-mode iPhone (here's a list), this is one of the first indications that a "true" Verizon-compatible iPad may be in the pipeline. It would be good news for loyal Verizon customers who have been on the fence about buying an iPad that's only half-compatible with their carrier of choice.
[Via All Things Digital]