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There's been more than a handful of rumors about just what features the iPad 2 will sport lately, and now another analyst is adding to the Apple tablet speculation.  Ashok Kumar, analyst at Rodman & Renshaw, claims that Apple will include a dual-core CPU into the upcoming iPad successor that will help it compete against the devices like Motorola's Stingray tablet and the BlackBerry PlayBook.  Kumar believes that we'll be seeing the dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 chip by March.  The iPad 2 won't be the only iDevice getting a dual-core refresh, says Kumar, as he expects the iPhone 5 to get a similar treatment later in the summer of 2011.  Finally, Kumar mentioned the Verizon iPhone: "iPhone volumes could also be maintained at the 15 million/quarter level through next year. The launch at Verizon could support an incremental 8 million units."

We're expecting Android phones and tablets to arrive next year with dual-core chips in tow, so it doesn't seem crazy to believe that Apple will use similar hardware in their impending iPad and iPhone updates.  The question is, what other updates does the company have up its sleeves to compete against the ever-growing Android onslaught, as well as tablet offerings from RIM and Palm?  A newly designed body and a camera or two seem like safe bets for the iPad, but there hasn't been many rumors about the iPhone 5 just yet.  What improvements do you think that the next iteration of the iPhone needs to stay competitive?

UPDATE: Japanese blog Macotakara has managed to get a hold of a couple of purported iPad 2 cases and, after examining them, has revealed that the iPad 2 will have a flat back and tapered sides like the current iPod Touch.  Because of the redesign, the speaker would be moved to the back of the device and the volume buttons would become more oblong and split, like the iPod Touch.  Finally, the camera hole on the iPad 2 case is larger than the iPod Touch, meaning that the iPad 2 may feature a higher quality camera like the one on the iPhone 4.  Check out a photo and video of the case below.

iPad 2 case

Via Redmond Pie, CNET, MacRumors, Macotakara


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