iPad 2.0 activity continues to heat up with the latest report claiming Apple will offer multiple configurations of the new product, with an accent on provision of pervasive Internet access.

Apple is expected to ship over half a million iPad 2.0 units in January with mass production set to begin then, the report claims. It seems Apple will offer Wi-Fi-equipped units alongside UMTS and CDMA-savvy iPads, maximizing the always connected Internet device proposition.

Digitimes also tells us “Apple, RIM and HTC will ship, respectively, 19-20 million, 14-15 million and 8-9 million smartphones in the first quarter of 2011, together sharing more than 50% of global smartphone shipments of 80-85 million units.”

Apple is expected to replace RIM as the second-ranked smartphone vendor.

or with a 20-25% global market share, followed by RIM, Samsung Electronics and HTC.

“In addition to wireless functions, Apple is also working on strengthening the iPad 2’s anti-smudge and anti-reflective treatments in order to compete against Kindle and attract more consumers, the sources noted.”

Apple is expected to take 65%-75% of the global tablet  market with 40 million iPad 2.0 sales next year, the report informs.