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November 23, 2010

Tuesday NewsBytes: iPad 2 out next April; Virgin Media plans public wi-fi scheme; Acer unveils trio of tablets

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by Darren Allan

The iPad 2 will be out next April, says analyst Brian Marshall of Gleacher and Co. He’s basing his prediction on information coming from board manufacturers out in Taiwan, although it’s a fair bet that Apple will stick to its regular schedule for new hardware anyway, and bring the iPad successor out a year on. The iPad sequel is likely to have an added camera or two (for video conferencing), a thinner and lighter build, and possibly a higher resolution display (although the latter could spark price concerns).

Virgin Media is mulling over plans to create a network of wi-fi hotspots across the UK to rival BT. The concept is to set up broadband routers in secure public locations, hook them up to Virgin’s street cabinets, and offer wi-fi surfing speeds of 5Mbps. Virgin would only aim to cover dense population centres where they could be assured of considerable demand. As for pricing, Virgin customers might get free access, with others charged a subscription or some form of usage fee.

Acer has lifted the lid on a trio of new tablets to try and grab the crown of biggest competitor to the iPad. The company is planning on producing two 10 inch tablets, one running Android and one with Windows 7 on board, along with a more compact 7 inch tablet which will be Android only. The Windows 7 tablet will come with twin cameras, and a docking device incorporating a full size Qwerty for those who can’t cope with a virtual touchscreen keyboard. The Windows tablet should be released in February 2011, with the other two following in April (probably at the same time as the iPad 2, unfortunately for Acer).

Story link: Tuesday NewsBytes: iPad 2 out next April; Virgin Media plans public wi-fi scheme; Acer unveils trio of tablets


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