Last week there were rumors that the iPad 3 might launch as early as February, but conflicting rumors from Taiwanese news site Digitimes pegs the iPad 3’s release in March or April, which is on schedule with other iPad releases.
According to the article, the next generation iPad won’t be available for 3-4 months, since suppliers have just started delivering parts and components to OEM contractors while simultaneously cutting down on iPad 2 production.
Production of the iPad 2 will remain at 14-15 million units during the fourth quarter of 2011, but the numbers will drop to four to five million during the first quarter of 2012, in order to prepare for the release of the next generation iPad.
Foxconn Electronics is said to be beginning production of the new iPads in January, with production ramping up in February, for a total of 9.5 to 9.8 million units in the first quarter of 2012.
Of course, as always, these are just rumors. Digitimes often has dubious sources with erroneous information, so take this with a grain of salt. We can draw a solid conclusion though – the next generation iPad will likely be coming during the first four months of 2012. I’d like to leave it at that, but I’m sure there will be an endless supply of additional rumors to share as we approach the release date.