Foxconn was notified of plans to ship the iPad by February 2011, with initial shipments of 400,000 to 600,000 units, according to DigiTimes. Sources expect the product to launch April 2011.
Foxconn makes Apple’s iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro, etc. Apple Sold Three Million iPads In 80 Days. At that rate the initial launch of 600,000 units will run out in sixteen days.
Most likely Apple will hold a media event a little after CES 2011 toward the end of January. And Steve Jobs will announce the next iPad: iPad 2. Jobs will need a working prototype by that time, or probably a couple of weeks before, which means prototypes are currently being tested.
The component that I’m most interested in is the display, naturally. LG Display will initially be the main, if not only, supplier for the 9.7-inch IPS LCD. If history repeats itself Samsung will be added on as a secondary supplier when demand outstrips supply. I can just imagine prototype 9.7-inch IPS LCDs coming out of LGD’s LCD fabs. These will blow the socks off the competition.
Steve Jobs will describe the LGD-sourced 9.7-incher as a Retina Display (read: iPad 2.0 Gets Retina Display?). The number of pixels will have quadrupled: 1024×768 → 2048×1536. But more important than tech specs, the iPad 2 will usher in a new experience of e-reading. Reading on the iPad 2 will become more like reading an actual book, visually that is. You can’t replace a real book: the texture of cotton paper, the aroma, the act of turning the page and the sound of it turning. The iPad 2 even with its amazing Retina Display won’t be able to touch these. But, visually, the iPad 2 will get really close. We shall see, soon enough.