Analyst: Apple Working on GSM/CDMA Combo iPad

Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair thinks Apple is working on a new iPad model that includes GSM and CDMA wireless data support. The current iPad lineup only supports the GSM standard, which means it can’t directly access Verizon’s network because of compatibility issues.

According to AllThingsD, Mr. Blair is basing is prediction on Qualcomm’s supply channel. Qualcomm manufactures wireless access chips that support both GSM and CDMA standards.

“Recent checks…suggest Apple is going to be ratcheting down production of the existing 3G iPad over the next two months in anticipation of ramping up a new World iPad that is powered by Qualcomm and will run on both GSM and CDMA based networks around the world,” he said.

The current iPad model line includes Wi-Fi support, and some models includes 3G wireless data support as well. The multimedia tablet sports a 9.7-inch multi-touch display, runs iOS and is compatible with most iPhone apps, and includes its own ebook reader app and store.

The next generation iPad, according to Mr. Blair, will include some other design changes as well. “The new iPad is thinner than the existing model and is essentially made from one piece of metal with no pins needed,” he said. “We understand it requires a new type of manufacturing process as a result, similar to the company’s unibody approach seen in MacBooks.”

Assuming Apple hits analyst expectations, the new iPad will be available in spring 2011.