Next iPad to Have Mini USB, Cameras, and Smaller, Lighter Form Factor

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Goldman Sachs analysts are speculating that the next generation Apple tablet will include camera(s), a lighter form factor, and mini USB port. There’s also the possibility, after persistent rumors, that the iPad may also gain a 7-inch display making it smaller and more portable, something that will be beneficial to compete against Samsung’s Android-based Galaxy Tab tablet as well as Research in Motion’s PlayBook tablet.

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While rumors of a camera–front-facing for FaceTime video chat and rear camera–have been consistent with previous Internet rumors, as well as a smaller size for the tablet, the mini USB port inclusion seems dubious considering that most electronics have migrated to the smaller micro USB form factor. Though Apple could add micro USB support, I don’t think that the company will do that considering it makes money licensing accessories maker for dock connector use, and the company could potentially work with third-party accessories manufacturers to create peripherals for the dock connector. Having a micro or mini USB port would not add much to Apple’s ecosystem other than to boast that it is making it easier for consumers to find a cheaper charge and sync solution.

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