New generation Apple iPads have so far followed a March/April release schedule, and based on the latest reports from the Apple supply chain out in Asia, it looks like the next generation will follow the same schedule as well, hinting at Q1 2012 release of the next iPad(s).
It is Digitimes that are reporting that manufacturers in the supply chain have started to deliver components for the next generation iPad(s) with the device likely becoming available in the next 3-4 months. Based on earlier years schedule that sounds about right on time. This report follows an earlier report from Citi Analyst who referred to several sources confirming the next generation iPad to be announced in February.
Meanwhile, Foxconn Electronics will begin to produce the next-generation iPads in January and to ramp up the production volume starting February, according to a Chinese-language Commercial Times report, which quoted Kevin Chang, an analyst of Citigroup Global Markets, as indicating. Production of the new iPads is expected to reach 9.5-9.8 million units in the first quarter of 2012, estimated sources in the supply chain. Sales of iPad products totaled 25.06 million in the first three quarters of 2011 and are likely to reach 40 million units for all of 2011, the sources estimated.
Whether or not we are talking Apple iPad 3 or a possible iPad 2 Pro (or possibly both) is unknown, but it is believed that this will be the first iPad to feature a Retina display, and that it will possibly have an Apple A6 quad-core processor and a new pin-connector, which will be a nightmare for those already owning a set of iPad accessories, such as iPad speaker docks.
We stress that these are all rumors at this stage, so you might still want to consider that iPad 2 for Christmas.