Foxconn is due to start shipping finished iPads in late February for a launch less than two months later, part suppliers said Monday night, and added there is less than 100 days until the first units need to be ready.
Sources from Taiwanese component makers are reported to have claimed the iPad 2 will ship between 400,000 and 600,000 units by the end of February ahead of what is now expected to be an April launch of the mark II tablet device. Foxconn and Apple, however, have both remained tight-lipped on the rumoured device. Production would have started in January, but Apple is still said to be testing new firmware and to have postponed production to ensure it was ready.
Apple’s plan to start mass production in January had to be pushed because of ongoing firmware testing. Note that this doesn’t mean that the second generation iPad will ship to consumers in February since Apple would be stockpiling units ahead of a global launch in April.
The highly anticipated iPad 2 has been tagged with adding a number of new features in the coming year with dual-cameras and a USB port hotly tipped as key additions alongside Apple’s FaceTime video calling service and a lighter, more Wi-Fi friendly carbon fibre body.
It also seems iPad would be faster powered by the multi-core ARM Cortex A9 chip which could possibly be christened A5. Also a patent filing revealed that the next iPad could be lighter as it could use a carbon fibre casing instead of the aluminum casing.