updated 11:20 pm EDT, Thu September 16, 2010
Suppliers to ship for 2nd-gen iPad in early 2011
Touchscreen part suppliers were said this evening to be validating their processes for the next full-size iPad. Cando, Chimei Innolux, TPK and Wintek are all supposedly having "ultra-thin," 9.7-inch glass touch panels tested for the Apple tablet before they can enter full production. The Digitimes contacts expected the parts to ship at the very start of 2011 for a launch sometime in the early part of that same year.
The claims would partly contradict those that Apple was rushing an update for late 2010 but would be consistent with Apple's update schedule. Although it only shipped the first iPad in April, it unveiled the new model in January and may have been held up by display shortages that prevented an earlier launch. It's also now likely in a hurry to get an update out to quash the US arrival of the Galaxy Tab as well as to stifle other competitive tablets that might arrive in the next few months.
The feature set of the tablet is still unconfirmed, but at least a front camera is considered likely. It may also follow the industry and use a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor as well as carry more memory. AT&T's exclusivity deal for the iPhone is believed to be ending in 2011 and may give Apple an opportunity to support Verizon and other carriers with 3G or even 4G.