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Brian White, an analyst at Ticonderoga Securities has revealed some interesting data regarding the expected sales of the iPad in 2011 – and about its upcoming version, expected next year.

In a research note based on information sourced from an Asian component supplier for Apple's iPad, Brian has revealed that Apple is well poised to ship as many as 45 million iPads next year. 
Apple's latest iOS based tablet has already managed to move over 16 million units this year – ever since its launch back in April. Also pertinent to note is the fact that it was just a week ago that reports of the iPad becoming the fourth largest consumer electronics category in the US began to emerge. According to that report, in the US, the iPad lies just behind behind TVs, smartphones, and notebooks as the fourth largest consumer electronics category!

Brian's contact also adds that the Asian component manufacturer shipped 6 million units of the components it made for the iPad in the third quarter of 2010. The unnamed company expects to ship 7 million more components in the last quarter. Since one unit of the component is used in each iPad, this adds up to an impressive 13 million iPads shipped in the second half of 2011. If we take in to account the quarter in which the iPad went on sale as well, when Apple has confirmed that it has sold over 3 million iPads – it brings the total tally of iPads sold so far to around 16 million. 

White also had some interesting information pertaining to the next generation iPad. His contact claims that the next generation iPad would be significantly smaller than the current version. In fact, with a 7-inch display, it would be more or less the size of the Samsung's Galaxy Tab, which is considered as a competitor to Apple's iPad. 

He also talks about the probability of a Retina display like iPhone 4 to make an appearance on the next generation iPad apart from a camera and and larger memory capacity (upto 128GB) and a USB port – some of the most requested features by users.

At a time when Apple is trying hard to keep the prices of the iPad low, these kind of specs for the next generation iPad does sound a tad optimistic. Current technology limitations will make the procedure of implementing a high resolution retina display on a 7 inch tablet – and at the same time, keeping the pricing affordable a challenging task to achieve. 

Hopefully, Apple will be able to pull this one off too! What do you think?

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