iPad 2.0 rumoured to enter production, release date set for April

A new report claims Apple is preparing to begin production of a second iPad, with Foxconn factories in China set to begin work within the next 100 days in preparation of an April release date.

The new report, which comes via DigiTimes, supports a number of rumours posted by various tech publications claiming the iPad will come with a camera and more powerful technical features than its predecessor.

The new report states that the initial shipping quota will be set between 400,000-600,000 units, based on figures provided from Taiwanese component manufacturers. The actual gadgets will ship in February but a release date is set for April – exactly one year after the first iPad launched.

Analysts point out this is the most likely scenario, as Apple favours yearly production cycles and usually launches new versions of its products around the same time each year.

“Apple originally planned to start mass production in January, but because the device’s firmware is currently still in testing, Apple has been postponing the schedule,” DigiTimes reports.

If the timeline is correct, Apple will likely announce the new gadget in January, as it did last year, with the iPad craze likely to be sustained through the Christmas season. Already, the company has sold over seven million iPads and the growth of competition from rivals like HP and Samsung will boost anticipation for an iPad sequel.

It is also likely that the release of a second iPad will dent competitors’ sales, just as they are getting off the ground.

This latest report also comes just after DigiTimes reported that Largan Precision will be making cameras for the upcoming iPad sequel. Largan, which apparently produces the back-facing five megapixel cameras for the iPhone 4, will construct new high resolutions lenses for the iPad 2.0.

The report also comes as a barrage of rumours have flooded the tech industry over the past few months. Already, various publications including TechCrunch, Boy Genius Report and MacRumours have posted several claims including that the iPad 2.0 will have a carbon frame and feature a retina-style display such as those in the iPhone 4.

Boy Genius Report has also reported that the second iPad could be thinner than the original model, and could feature a multi-axis gyroscope. It is also rumoured that Apple could include the FaceTime video conferencing technology on the new gadget.

Geek.com has previously reported the new iPad will feature a Qualcomm chip that will allow the iPad to run on CDMA and GSM networks.

Separate reports have indicated the iPad could feature a USB port, but several analysts have pointed this out as being unlikely.

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