Apple iPad 3 Set To Launch In Spring 2012

Apple is expected to launch the next generation of its tablet device line, the iPad 3 sometime in the spring of 2012. Digitimes, which cited unnamed sources in Apple’s component supply chain, reported that the iPad 3 would launch sometime in the next three to four months, with the specific timeframe between mid-March and mid-April being the likeliest to see the launch.
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While iPad 2 production is still strong with about 14 to 15 million units expected to be produced in the December quarter of 2011, orders of the iPad 2 are expected to be decreased by about 10 million units to about 4-5 million units in the first quarter of 2012. Foxconn is expected to make anywhere between 9.5 to 9.7 million units of the third generation iPad over the first quarter of 2012 according to the report, with production set to rise in February.

The new iPad 3 is expected to be very slightly thicker than the iPad 2 so as to make way for the new high resolution Retina Display screen. Early reports had suggested that the launch date would be sometime in February, but given the expected release of Samsung’s new tablet at the Mobile World Congress in February, the newer reports suggesting a launch date between mid-March and mid-April appear to be more accurate. Samsung’s new tablet will also feature a Retina-topping display, and Samsung are said to be trying hard to beat Apple’s iPad 3 to the market with their early launch.

Another report in Digitimes noted that the manufacturing partners for Barnes and Noble’s tablet device, the Nook, have now produced and shipped a total of 1 million units over the course of just over a month. The Nook, which had been unveiled in early November and released shortly after that, has a 7-inch “Vivid View” screen that has been designed by LG and a dual core 1 GHz processor. It also features 16 GB of hard disk space and 1 GB RAM, and runs on the Android 2.3 operating system.

The report, which cited employees at component suppliers as its sources, said that over a million units had been sent to Barnes & Noble to date, and that Barnes & Noble had earlier had to increase the size of their orders after strong initial sales. It said that Barnes & Noble had initially asked for about 800,000 units through to the end of December, but had to increase their order on the back of strong sale

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