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Rumor: iPad 2 Design Similar to iPod Touch

An unnamed source has revealed a few new details surrounding the upcoming 2nd generation iPad, reporting that it will measure 3-mm (0.11-inches) smaller than the original model while retaining the same 9.7-inch screen dimensions. Overall the new iPad is expected to measure 9.41-inches (h) x 7.32-inches (w).

According to the report, the new iPad's backing will have a shape similar to the iPod Touch. A hole located in the back plate--as previously seen in leaked photos--was originally speculated to be for a USB port or an SD card slot. However the unnamed Chinese source said it's actually for a large, wide-ranged speaker unit that will be covered with metal mesh.

The source also claimed that the Ambient Light Sensor (ALS) has been relocated to the upper center quadrant on the rear panel and will have a new 0.12-inch slim hole. The antennas for 3G however have not been moved, residing in the same spot as seen on the original iPad. Other details provided by the source were old: the front-facing camera for FaceTime and a rear-facing camera for video.

Earlier reports have indicated that production has already started, with assembly shipments due to arrive at Apple in late January. There have also been rumors that the LCD screen will provide a higher resolution, and that the tablet will use a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 chip.

If Apple head-honcho Steve Jobs keeps to the one-year schedule, then consumers should expect to see the 2nd generation iPad make its grand appearance next month in a special Apple press event.