Report: iPad 2 already in production

The next generation of Apple's tablet is currently in manufacturing, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

A mock iPad 2 seen at this year's CES. Engadget

Apple has the next generation of its iPad in production, according to a Wall Street Journal report that appears to confirm many of the rumors that have been circulating for the past couple of months.

The new tablet will feature a faster processor and a built-in camera for videoconferencing, but it will have the same display resolution as the first model, according to the report, which cited people familiar with the matter. The new model will reportedly be sold through current partners AT&T and Verizon Wireless--suggesting it might be dual mode for both GSM and CDMA networks. However, the report did not indicate when the new iPad might be hitting store shelves or what the pricing might be.

An Apple representative declined to comment.

Apple has sold 14 million iPads since its release last April, 7.33 million units alone during the holiday quarter, and Piper Jaffray expects Apple to sell 27 million iPads in 2011. All of that fervor has helped fuel rumors of specs, sightings, and even a claimed component acquisition.

Tech site 9to5Mac claimed earlier this month that it had acquired what it believed to be an iPad 2 LCD , "fresh out of China." The news site found the display to be lighter, thinner, and of higher quality than the current iPad's display, but it could see no evidence that it offered higher resolution than the existing model.

Though a number of sites have reported finding higher resolution graphics in recent builds of Apple's iOS, an analyst cited by Apple Insider in January said the iPad 2 would not have a high-resolution Retina display , corroborating an earlier CNET report.

Earlier this month, a Reuters "eyewitness" claimed to have seen an iPad 2 prototype at the press unveiling of News Corp.'s The Daily. However, that alleged sighting did nothing to confirm or dispel rumors that the new device will sport a USB port .

Component makers in Taiwan said in December that Foxconn--a key maker of iPhones and iPads--had been notified that it should be ready to ship 400,000 to 600,000 units of the new device by the end of February. That aligns nicely with another rumor that has pegged February 14 as the release date for Apple's iOS 4.3 , the newest update for iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches. Might an iPad 2 announcement be included in a press event announcing iOS 4.3? Stay tuned.

 

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