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iPad 2 successor possibly to hit stores as early as February

While this can be lumped squarely in the "unconfirmed" column, rumors have begun swirling about the possibility of Apple's next-generation tablet, the iPad 3, launching within the next "three to four months."

Anonymous sources in the supply chain are cited by DigiTimes saying that the parts and components for the iPad 3 are being delivered to OEM contractors while reducing deliveries for the iPad 2. 

"OEM production of iPad 2 will remain high at 14-15 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011 but decline to 4-5 million units in the first quarter of 2012, paving the way for the launch of the new iPads," DigiTimes writes.

The rumors are bolstered by further reports from a Chinese Commercial Times report that says Foxconn will begin production on the new models in January, and increasing production by February.

The aforementioned anonymous supply-chain sources say that anywhere from 9.5 to 9.8 million units of the iPad 3 will be produced in Q1 of 2012.

Another report from last week, this one from the L.A. Times, cited February as the target launch date, so the new timeframe isn't too far off. 

According to the Times, the iPad 3 will be similar to its predecessor, but will include Apple's retina display, doubling the resolution found on the current model.

The original iPad launched in April 2010. The iPad 2 launched in March 2011. If Apple's 11-month trend for next generation of its popular tablet continues, February 2012 would be the target.

With increased competition in the tablet market from the likes of Microsoft and additional Android offerings, Apple might be feeling a sense of urgency to stay ahead of the curve if it wants to hold on to its tablet market share.

Sources: DigiTimes, LA Times

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By mcnabney on 12/12/2011 10:21:37 AM , Rating: 2
The jump to iPad3 is going to be like the jump to iPhone4 - it is going to leave the previous generations with pathetically low resolution screens. Why anyone would buy an iPad2 now, when it will be obsolete within a few months is beyond me. Oh yeah, I forgot. Most people think of them as toys, so a pathetically short product lifespan is fine with them...

By DEVGRU on 12/12/2011 10:29:45 AM , Rating: 3
Why anyone would buy an iCrap now, when it will be obsolete within a few months is beyond me.

Yeah, but isn't that pretty much any Apple product ever made?

By Denigrate on 12/12/2011 10:33:42 AM , Rating: 1
Sure, that's Apple's profit model. Build shiny device, get iSheeple to line up and buy it, then put out small improvements, get iSheeple to buy new model. Of course, the iPad3 sounds like something more than a small improvement if they deliver on the Retina display. Though we must remember the display improvement was rumored for the iPad2.

By Flunk on 12/12/2011 10:51:36 AM , Rating: 2
My 30GB iPod 4G still works just fine, you don't have to run in the hamster wheel if you don't want to.

By Denigrate on 12/12/2011 2:37:54 PM , Rating: 1
Exactly, but then you don' seem to be an iSheeple.

By nafhan on 12/12/2011 12:41:14 PM , Rating: 2
That's pretty much the profit model for electronics (and most other products).

The difference between Apple products and non-Apple products regarding pricing is that Apple products have much more tightly controlled pricing schemes. Apple products, at release, are generally reasonably priced compared to non-Apple competitors, but near the end of a refresh cycle, they are often as much as 50% more than devices with similar specs. Doesn't matter though, since Apple users don't care about specs...

By MrTeal on 12/12/2011 1:41:58 PM , Rating: 2
I'd say 95% of Mac users don't care about specs. They buy a MacBook because they want a MacBook, not because they're looking at the specs.

Finding the actual processor model number for a MB Air on Apple's website is actually pretty difficult, btw. The "tech specs" just list the frequency, series and cache.

By xti on 12/12/2011 2:59:43 PM , Rating: 2
where did u get the 95%?

By nafhan on 12/12/2011 2:34:39 PM , Rating: 2
You're right specs do matter: Apple says specs are important, so Apple users care about them... Kidding, "Apple users don't care about specs" is more of a reference to stuff like this: that has been floating around tech news sites lately.

By xti on 12/12/2011 3:04:41 PM , Rating: 2
so...the only right thing they can release a product and never explore improvements/advances in tech...just get it right the first time.

otherwise, the iCantAffordThings get mad.

By obsidian on 12/12/2011 11:08:51 AM , Rating: 2
You mean just like Android phones/tablets? Or videos cards, CPUs, TV, or every other technology that features incremental advances.

By TakinYourPoints on 12/13/2011 4:41:23 AM , Rating: 2
How dare tech companies release improved products like CPUs, GPUs, laptops, smartphones, computer cases, TVs, etc etc etc, every year.

How dare they.

By Wererat on 12/12/2011 11:03:53 AM , Rating: 3
"Why anyone would buy an iPad2 now, when it will be obsolete within a few months is beyond me."

The same appears true of all smartphones, tablets, and laptops. As soon as they're out, the company's on to design the next product.

At least they don't depreciate as dramatically as a new car!

By mcnabney on 12/12/2011 9:32:33 PM , Rating: 2
My key point is that the major gadget buying holiday is right before a very large jump forward. Android is a bit different, they incrementally improve year-round. Apple takes bigger leaps and the time you DON'T want to buy (and get good value) is during the few months prior to an update. That is why the launch is poorly timed. It will dampen Xmas purchases. If iPad3 came in August, no biggie. If it comes out in March there will be a lot of annoyed customers.

By muhahaaha on 12/12/2011 11:22:30 AM , Rating: 2
I used to be an apple fanboy, but I took an arrow in the knee

By web2dot0 on 12/12/2011 11:47:23 AM , Rating: 2
Pretty simple, don't buy it, but the rest of the world is buying the 10" 2048x1536 IPS panel.

You can stop the drool dripping down from the corner of the mouth while still being a anti-apple fanboy. If you are not at least one bit curious to even check out the product for yourself at the Apple Store before you declare it DOA, then you're just a really dumb consumer. You know what? I'm going to check it out and see if it's all the hype. If it's the real deal, I'll buy it. That's how capitalism works. Evaluate things rationally.

At the end of the day, people buy what appeals to them. Nothing will change that.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins

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