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iPad 3 set for Q1 2012 release

Report says iPad 3 production to begin in January, products to hit market in March or April

iPad 3 set for Q1 2012 release
The next generation of iPad could be on its way in March or April 2012.

iPad 3 could start shipping in March or April of next year, according to the DigiTimes news site.

The Taiwanese website reported that several sources in the supply chain said that components for the next edition of the tablet are now being delivered to OEM contractors.

A second source, Citigroup Global Markets analyst Kevin Chang, was reported by the Commercial Times to have stated that Apple supplier Foxconn Electronics will begin production of iPad 3 in January, with volumes ramping up in February.

Production of new iPads is expected to reach 9.5 to 9.8 million units in the first quarter of 2012.

A March or April release date would fit with Apple's usual annual cycle of product refreshes, but no official word has come from the company.

DigiTimes also reported that supply of iPad 2 specific components is being scaled back, with production of the second generation tablet expected to be cut from 14-15 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011 down to 4-5 million units in Q1 2012.

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