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iPad 3 production to begin this December, analyst says

Manufacturers will reportedly slowly begin shifting production from iPad 2 to iPad 3 by Q4 2011

The iPad 3 may be ready for an early 2012 launch if these latest reports prove correct.

According to Barron’s, analyst Christopher Caso of Susquehanna Financial claims that the next generation iPad will begin production sometime Q4 2011. Only limited numbers (600,000 to 1,000,000 units) will be in the initial volume, Caso predicts, before production begins to ramp up throughout 2012. His sources come from “checks” with Apple insiders involved with iPad production.

The start of iPad 3 production could explain why Apple may be planning to produce more iPad 2 units for Q3 2011 than Q4 2011. The lowered mass production forecast may signify a slow shift in the manufacturing process from iPad 2 to iPad 3. Apple will reportedly produce around 18m and 12m iPad 2 units for Q3 and Q4 of this year, respectively.

Exactly how the rumored “iPad mini” can fit into the production schedule remains to be seen. Perhaps Apple will order both iPad 3 and “iPad mini” units simultaneously from manufacturers, but nothing will be set in stone until Apple inevitably announces its future iPad offerings.

The next generation iPad has been said to include an ultra-high resolution "Retina" type display with a longer lasting, even thinner battery.


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Allen Ngo, 2011-10-14 (Update: 2012-05-26)