Report: 7-inch iPad 2 to have USB port, two cameras

Rumors continue to swirl over Apple’s next generation iPad, and one Taiwanese newspaper says the new device will be out in the first quarter of 2011, complete with video calling, two cameras, new display and touch technology, and a USB port to connect easily to other devices.

The Chinese-language Economic Daily News financial newspaper, which was among the first to correctly report that Apple was making a tablet when other news sources said it would be a netbook, on Friday reported that the new iPad 2 will go into production this month and will be on sale early next year.

The same newspaper in August reported that the device would have a 7-inch touchscreen.

Taiwanese newspapers sometimes win scoops on new electronics products because Taiwanese companies are involved in every aspect of electronics production, from components to final assembly. For example, the Economic Daily says that Largan Precision will supply camera lenses for the new iPad, while Hon Hai Precision Industry, which operates under the trade name, Foxconn, will be responsible for final assembly.

The August report from the Economic Daily said Chimei Innolux will supply 7-inch LCD touchscreens, which use the same IPS (in-plane switching) technology found in the original iPad, for the new device.

The companies named in the Economic Daily report declined to comment. Contract manufacturers and component makers normally do not reveal what products they’re working on because failure to maintain secrecy can cause them to lose business.

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