Now that the iPhone 4S is on sale, it’s time to kick the iPad 3 rumor mill into high gear. All Things D has claimed that according to Susquehanna Financial analyst Jeff Fidacaro, Apple’s third-gen tablet is headed to production.
Fidacaro said that evidence in supply chains suggests Apple is increasing iPad orders in the fourth quarter to between 12 and 14 million, up from 11 to 13 million. Part of the reason for that increase is that Apple is starting production for the iPad 3 early, meaning it could be working on three versions of the tablet at the same time.
“Since our last month supply chain checks, we are now seeing 600,000 to one million iPad 3 builds showing up on the plan for the fourth quarter calendar 2011,” Fidacaro told All Things D. “Our previous estimate did not include any iPad 3s.”
Apple will allegedly launch the iPad 3 sometime in the beginning of 2012. All Things D estimates that it will roll out in March, which could be an accurate forecast since the iPad 2 went on sale on March 11 of this year.
AppleInsider this week reported that Apple is planning a cheaper iPad in order to compete with Amazon’s $199 Kindle Fire. Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White said in meetings with component suppliers in Taiwan and mainland China, he’s heard murmurings of a device called the “iPad mini. But mini refers to a lower price rather than a smaller form factor, he said.
White estimates that the cheaper iPad would have a price somewhere in the “mid-to-high $200 range.” But that doesn’t mean a lower overall price for the iPad. This rumored cheaper iPad would come in addition to the iPad 3. Both devices would launch at the beginning of 2012, White said.