updated 08:05 am EDT, Thu November 3, 2011
Apple said testing high, low-spec iPads in case
The previously glossed-over J1 and J2 iPad prototypes have been partly clarified in an uncommon follow-up rumor. The two are both candidates for what would replace the iPad 2, with only one of them going ahead, Digitimes claimed. The J2 would be a superset of the J1 with more advanced technology and different dimensions.
The previous claims that the next iPad would just be a mild upgrade also now appear to have been a product of confusion rather than knowledge. Although they believe the components are "not far off" from the iPad 2, they reiterate that any new iPad would have the previously mentioned 2048x1536 display and would need two vertical LED backlights to keep the higher-density screen illuminated. They also add that Apple wants a thinner design, which would further change the design.
Going to the higher resolution would, by necessity, push Apple to use a faster processor like the A6. No current tablet-oriented graphics cores can drive resolutions beyond 1920x1080 or 1920x1200. The A6 is presumed to be quad-core with quad-core graphics and should keep up with the higher resolution.
Regardless of internals, the part supplier chain reiterated earlier talk of Apple starting production slightly early, stocking up two million future iPads by the end of 2011. Parts would have been enroute for assembly starting from October. Earlier discussions claimed that the timing of the Chinese Lunar New Year and other holidays, which often see production stop, was pushing Apple to start slightly earlier.
A final tip claimed that very early proofing was underway for the full iPhone 5, but that production wouldn't start until around June. The timing would put the actual launch closer to mid-summer, slightly later than in the first few years of the iPhone but earlier than the October launch.