updated 11:10 pm EST, Thu November 17, 2011
Three LCD makers said shipping 3m iPad 3 screens
Apple's iPad 3 screen plans have already seen it take millions of the displays, according to claims from the part chain made late Thursday. LG, Samsung, and new partner Sharp reportedly shipped one million of the new screens in October, with two million due to have reached assembly plants by the end of November. TPK and Wintek, which primarily make touchscreen layers, may be shipping a million units combined each month, starting as soon as this week but no later than December.
The tipsters estimated that, based on timing, complete assembly at Foxconn's factories would start in January.
While unconfirmed, the details both line up roughly with rumored November display production as well as with Apple's own past history. The iPad is just two years old but has established a pattern of launching in early spring, which usually demands that Apple ramp production two or more months ahead to get enough supply.
Along with the larger screens, the same sources for the iPad 3 screen rumor also maintained that Apple was developing a 7.85-inch tablet display with the help of AU Optronics and LG Display. The two were said to have already given test samples to clear them for use. It wasn't apparent whether or not Apple would actually expand the iPad line, the contacts said.
Apple is known to regularly explore side projects that never reach it to market, in some cases being cancelled just days before they would have been announced at an event. The late Steve Jobs is well-known for having dismissed seven-inch tablets, although he was well-known for downplaying a category only until Apple could deliver a product of its own that it thought could dominate.