WSJ: iPad 3 to Get Trial Production Run in October, Release in Early 2012

The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that Apple and its Asian component suppliers have organized a trial production run of the next-gen iPad 3 in October. Sources speaking to the paper claim that Apple has ordered all necessary components and chips for a launch of the device in early 2012. A separate source speaking to the Journal who works for a component supplier claims that Apple has ordered enough parts for about 1.5 million iPads to be built in the fourth quarter.

One of the rumored new features of the iPad 3 is a high-res QXGA screen with a resolution of 2048 x 1536, double that of the current iPad. Previous rumors had placed the iPad 3 launch in the fourth quarter of this year, but recent rumors claim poor yield rates for the iPad’s new LCD screen have delayed the launch until next year. A source speaking to the WSJ claims manufacturers are working on improving yield rates for the new screen:

Suppliers will ramp up production and try to improve the yield rate for the new iPad in the fourth quarter before its official launch in early 2012,” said a person at the supplier.

A separate report today from Digitimes claims that LCD screen manufacturers are having a tough time meeting Apple’s quality requirements for its next-gen tablet. Taiwanese company CMI was one of the companies bidding to build the screens for Apple but failed to become a supplier due to technological hurdles:

The sources noted that the iPad 3’s resolution requirement of 2,048×1,536 pixels is also a challenge even for iPad panel regular suppliers such as LG Display (LGD) and Samsung Electronics. Apart from the two Korea makers, Japan’s Sharp has [also] been selected to supply panels for the iPad 3, the sources said.

Digtimes’ report seems to be a reiteration of a similar report from just a few days ago that claimed Apple was canceling plans to release the iPad 3 later this year due to poor manufacturing yield rates for the new high-res screen.


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