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Apple's second generation iPad will be released in a matter of weeks, one commentator has claimed – raising hopes over new tablet computer broadband deals.

Dan Grabham, deputy editor of TechRadar.com, believes the iPad 2 could hit stores as early as February 2011, potentially signalling another consumer rush to get their hands on a tablet.

The iPad was the roaring success of 2010's consumer IT market, with millions of consumers purchasing Apple's hand-held, touch-screen computer.

Various UK internet service providers have linked up with Apple to provide mobile broadband and Wi-Fi options on the iPad, adding to the appeal of the tablet device.

Mr Grabham raised hopes over exciting new iPad broadband deals, claiming that the second-generation version will "really lay down the gauntlet to rivals".

He said that "there's still plenty of room for other players" in the tablet market, citing the Blackberry Playbook and Motorola Xoom as future contenders for the iPad's crown, but claimed that Apple will remain dominant for the foreseeable future.

IDC's latest worldwide quarterly media tablet and e-reader tracker recorded "breakneck growth" for both media tablets and e-readers in the third quarter of 2010.

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