updated 12:15 am EST, Mon December 12, 2011
iPad 3 to ship in high numbers early on
New part supplier rumors have the suggested the iPad 3 won't launch early. They claimed to Digitimes late Sunday that the new Apple tablet would arrive in the "next 3-4 months," or between March and April like they have in the iPad's short two-year history. Foxconn would start production in January with full-scale supply in February, Citibank analyst Kevin Chang has added, citing his own unconfirmed supplier checks.
Details were possibly emerging about the nature of the transition between producing the old model and the new version. Apple's contractors would make about 14 million to 15 million iPad 2 units in the fall, but that would shrink to just four million to five million in the winter as iPad 3 production began. Between 9.5 million to 9.8 million of the newer tablet would be made in the first three months of 2012, leading to a minimum 13.5 million and a maximum 14.8 million combined.
While still uncertain, the handover would show that Apple fully expected to keep shipments relatively even between the holidays and the winter. Unlike this year, where iPad shipments dropped noticeably between the fall and winter, it would see any lull near the end of the iPad 2's life more than compensated for by the iPad 3 launch.
Little is known for certain about what the next iPad includes, but the repeatedly leaked 2048x1536 display and a faster A6 processor are considered the most likely candidates.