Assembling of iPad 3 begins in January 2012 for a release in the first-quarter 2012!
According to DigiTimes, Samsung, LG and Sharp have already shipped around 1 million high-resolution display panels in October for Apple’s iPad 3. Further 2 million more are to be shipped by the end of November. As per our previous post, these are Retina displays that have a resolution of 2048X1536 pixels and PPI (Pixels per Inch) of 264. This means twice the resolution of iPad 2. These retina displays will be complemented by touch modules from TPK Holding and Wintek . As per DigiTimes Asian sources in the Apple supply chain, TPK Holding and Wintek together will scale up to one million touch modules per month starting from mid-November or December. Once these components are shipped, Apple’s contractor Foxconn will start assembling of iPad 3 in January 2012 for a release in the first-quarter.
Even if the recent rumors and estimates are off by one month, we can clearly see the momentum building towards iPad 3’s release. Recent developments and the increasing competition in tablet space can signify a release timeline of first-quarter of 2012. With the entry of low-cost, 7-inch devices like Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook tablet, the tablet market is just getting hot. In a scenario like this, Apple would definitely like to maintain its annual refresh on time. In the light of this competition, there were even rumors of an iPad Mini.
At the same time there are reports of Apple slashing its orders for iPad 2 displays in the fourth-quarter of 2011. Apple already has an inventory sufficient for assembling 15-16 million iPad’s in the fourth-quarter. Considering iPad 2’s sales in the third-quarter, analysts are of the view that Apple’s production targets are around 3-4 million less than the display parts. Analyst’s view this difference can be due to the shipping of iPad 3 displays which has already started. Do you think these reports can influence the holiday season shoppers and make them wait for an iPad 3 instead of buying an iPad 2?