Apple is working with suppliers in Asia to build pre-production components for the iPad 3, including a 9.7-inch, 2048 x 1536 pixel display. Apple has already ordered parts for delivery in the calendar 4th quarter.
One component supplier said that Apple has placed orders for parts that translate to about 1.5 million iPads built in next quarter, according to The Wall Street Journal. “Suppliers will ramp up production and try to improve the yield rate for the new iPad in the fourth quarter before its official launch in early 2012,” The WSJ quoted one supplier as saying.
That’s likely a precursor to continued ramping up in the first quarter of 2012 to prepare for Apple’s now traditional launch of new iPads in late March or early April.
Prior to the release of the iPad 2, rumors suggested that it would have a high resolution 2048 x 1536 pixel display, but that idea was quickly squashed when it was realized that suppliers couldn’t make enough of those kinds of displays to meet Apple’s needs for the iPad 2 a year ago.
Sample image 2048x1536 pixels originally, scaled down
One tablet maker, Asus, revealed its quad-core tablet, the Asus Transformer at the AsiaD conference on Thursday. But Bloomberg’s Kevin Tofel reported that it’ll take more than sheer specs to win the war against the iPad 2 and 3. Even so, recent trends in modern Android smartphones, like the Motorola Droid RAZR and Samsung Galaxy Nexus, that are larger, have bigger displays and more geek-factor suggest that the strategy remains to throw technology at the iPhone and iPad until something breaks.
At Apple’s earnings report on Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook expressed confidence that the iPad, with 140,000 apps, will remain ahead of the competition. He also noted that Apple has a pretty good idea where to go next with the iPad line.