Apple Readies for Three Versions of iPad 2

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Is Apple preparing to release a second generation iPad that will be compatible with the 3G network currently endorsed by Verizon? The answer is a resounding “yes,” according to one report. A Digitimes report reveals that Apple is expected to release three versions of the iPad 2, supporting either or a combination of WiFi, UMTS and CDMA, for 2011 with mass production to start as early as the later half of January.

The report also reveals that Apple will ship upwards of a whopping 530,000 units to channels in January with shipment ratio of WiFi, UMTS and CDMA models at 3:4:3.

But that’s not all. The Digitimes report also states that iPad panel shipments will reach 65 million units next year. That includes the current iPad and a second-generation tablet that Apple is anticipated to release next year. As evidence, Digitimes cites estimates that LG Display will land orders for 35 million iPad panels while Samsung and Chimei Innolux will get order for 15 million units each. Such figures are significantly higher than current market estimates of 45 to 48 million units. "Market players noted that the 65 million unit shipment goal indicates that Apple is very optimistic about the tablet PC market in 2011, and it may also mean that Apple is overbooking panel capacity," stated the publication.

According to Digitimes Research, Taiwan suppliers supply all touch panel modules for iPads, and touch panel shipments for iPads are expected to reach 16.76 million units in 2010. Including other tablet PC products, touch panel shipments from Taiwan are estimated to reach 66.38 million units in 2013.

In November, TechZone360.com cited another Digitimes report that revealed that Foxconn Electronics, Apple's China-based tablet manufacturer, has added several new assembly lines to crank up production rates in order to satisfy consumers’ insatiable appetite for iPad devices.

The new lines, which have reportedly been added to the company's plants in Chengdu, China, will be capable of churning out approximately 10,000 iPads per day; a number that Apple hopes will satisfy staggering demand. Down the road, the company will look to add 50 more production lines to the facility, enabling it to produce as many as 40 million units in a year.




Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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