Rumors of an iPad – Macbook Air Hybrid and other future Apple iPad Variations – Following a meeting with Cook, Citigroup analyst Richard Gardner published a research note suggesting Apple may be about to redesign the iPad to meet the needs of those wanting an ARM-based hybrid device

It is possible that Apple could offer some form of tablet-laptop hybrid similar to the Asus Transformer Prime, given the limited things that it can do to refresh the current design.

CNET – iPad-like MacBook Air now unlikely?

The Citigroup comments counter a report back in May that said an ARM-based MacBook Air was a “done deal.”

Supposedly, Apple wanted to move almost everything to its A series chips. That meant, of course, that Intel, for the most part, would be out of the picture.

But with Intel on track to bring out its first power-sipping system-on-a-chip for the mainstream laptop market in 2013, dubbed “Haswell”–just the kind of chip that would be at home in the Air–a move to ARM by Apple may be less of an imperative.

What is Apple cooking up? Here are some thoughts from CNET:

* A more powerful iPad, aka iPad 3: Packing a faster A6 chip, a high-resolution 2,048-by-1,536-pixel Retina display, and LTE “4G” broadband (this falls into the “likely” rumor category, as a number of credible reports point to this kind of feature set for the next iPad).

* A more elegant physical keyboard solution for the iPad from Apple. That could mean a lot of things but something possibly akin to the Asus Transformer Prime.

* An expanded line of iPads, e.g., another model, possibly with a different screen size. That might include something smaller or even a bit larger. Samsung, for instance, is already showing off an 11.6-inch tablet with a 2,560-by-1,600-pixel display and a fast 2GHz ARM processor.

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