Apple is expected to release three versions of iPad 2, supporting either or a combination of Wi-Fi, UMTS and CDMA, for 2011 with mass production to start as early as the later half of January. Apple will ship about 500,000-530,000 units to channels in January with shipment ratio of Wi-Fi, UMTS and CDMA models at 3:4:3, according to industry sources, citing upstream component makers.
Foxconn Electronics’ (Hon Hai Precision Industry’s) plants in Shenzhen, China have recently been notified they will ship Apple’s iPad 2 within the next 100 days with initial shipments to reach 400,000-600,000 units, according to sources from Taiwan-based component makers. However, Foxconn declined to comment on its products or clients.
The sources pointed out that the iPad 2 will ship as soon as the end of February in 2011. 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. Since Foxconn’s new plants in Chengdu are still in pilot production, iPad 2 will be mainly supplied by its Shenzhen plants, while the company’s upstream component partners have all been notified of the shipments schedule.
A Chinese-language Economy Daily News (EDN) report citing industry sources claims Apple will add five new features to the iPad 2: video phone, better mobility, USB port, new display technology and 3-axis gyroscopes.
The video-phone feature (probably FaceTime) is expected to benefit Apple iPad’s webcam suppliers, while iPad 2 may adopt smaller size panels featuring thinner glass. The USB feature will allow the device to be more connection friendly, while Apple’s “Retina Display” technology will enhance image and color output performance. The 3-axis gyroscopes will enhance gaming, added the paper.