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iPad 3: Will Apple unveil an 8GB edition of its popular tablet?

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Reuters

(Read caption) Apple is expected to unveil the iPad 3 at an event in San Francisco next week. Here, the iPad 2.

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Next week, at a press event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, in San Francisco, Apple will almost definitely take the wraps off a new iPad. Smart money is on a top-flight tablet with improved cameras, more powerful processors, and a high-resolution "Retina Display."

But according to one source, Apple is also prepping a bargain-priced 8GB iPad 3, which would compete with devices such as the Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble Nook Tablet

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Apple currently sells three versions of the iPad 2: a 16GB unit for $499; a 32GB unit for $599; and a 64GB unit for $699.

Beginning with the iPad 3, Apple will shift course, eliminating the 64GB tablet and introducing an 8GB iteration. So says the Taiwanese newspaper DigiTimes, which has published a report this week alleging that Apple will also roll out an 8GB iPad, in order to "cover different segments and to defend against Windows 8-based tablet PCs." 

There is no confirmation from Apple; DigiTimes, a source of much Apple gossip, says the scuttlebutt comes from sources in Apple's "upstream supply chain." So yes, we take the whole thing with a grain of salt. All will be revealed next week. But it's certainly worth noting that the Kindle Fire, which is priced at a very accessible $200, has sold well for Amazon – already, a Kindle Fire 2 may be on the way.

Apple would be remiss if only kept its eye on the top reaches of the tablet market. Right? Drop us a line in the comments section, and let us know what you think. And for more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut

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