Rumor: Foxconn to Ship Next Gen iPad in February

Apple’s second generation iPad is apparently nearly ready to enter production and Foxconn, Apple’s manufacturing partner, is expected to start delivering inventory to the company as early as the end of February 2011. Parts suppliers claim Foxconn is expected deliver the new iPad model within 100 days, and initial shipments should land between 400,000 and 600,000 units, according to DigiTimes.

This looks just like the first gen iPad. Because it is.

The unnamed sources also claim Apple had originally planned to start production on the second generation iPad in January, but pushed the date out since the tablet’s firmware is still in a testing phase.

Apple released the original version of its multimedia tablet device on April 3, 2010, so many analysts are expecting the second generation model to ship in April 2011. The current rumors fit that time frame, although Apple hasn’t publicly committed to a firm launch date.

The second generation iPad is rumored to be thinner, offer longer battery life, and to include a front-facing camera for FaceTime video chat support.

Since Apple is staying tight-lipped about its second generation iPad plans, launch dates and product features should be treated as just rumors and taken with an appropriate dose of salt.