iPad 2 Announcement This Month, Shipping in March?
The rumor mill is getting closer to settling on an announcement date for the iPad 2. According to a report from MacOkatara
, which has occasionally provided accurate intel from the Asian supply chain, Apple will hold "a small event" to announce the next-generation tablet at the end of February. This report suggests the iPad 2 will be available - at least in the US - some time in March. A separate report states that more than half of the first run will be 3G devices.
During the Chinese New Year, from February 3rd to February 17th, "everybody goes home
" from the cities where China's electronics manufacturers are located. As a result, MacOkatara notes
, production has halted on the iPad 2, and is not expected to resume until after the holidays. According to supplier checks, five million second-generation iPads will ship in the first run of manufacturing, with most of those being 3G models. Ming-Chi Kuo told AppleInsider
that 38% of the first production run will be WiFi iPads, with 46% UMTS (AT&T compatible) WiFi+3G units and the remaining 16% shipping with Verizon compatible CDMA 3G radios.
The source for MacOkatara's late-February announcement is unknown, but it's in line with other reports that indicate that production has already begun, and increasing numbers of accessories
and replacement parts
making their way to third parties. The second generation iPad is expected some time around the one-year anniversary of the original model on April 3, and it makes sense that Apple would move the released date up a bit to steal some of the thunder from tablets just now being released by competitors.
, iPad 2 mockup image via MIC Gadget