DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim says production on the 2048 x 1532 iPad 3 panels has begun. "It's happening! Panel production has started [for the next-generation iPad]. There's three suppliers," Shim told CNET.
Early reports revealed Apple has already received one million displays for the iPad 3. If true, this puts the next generation iPad on course to be released as early as March 2012 like earlier rumors have suggested.
"It takes a couple of weeks for the production to go to the ODMs (the manufacturers). Then the manufacturer puts them in the housing. Then, that goes off to shipment. We could start seeing finished devices produced in December. And then being ready to be shipped in January. With volumes gearing up in February and March," Shim said.
Samsung, Sharp, and LGD are all manufacturing the displays due to the challenges posed by producing a 10-inch-class QXGA screen. "I would imagine there would be concerns about [adequate] supply given the resolution of the display but you've got three different suppliers at this point. They should have enough to launch the product," Shim said.
Sim also confirmed Apple is considering launching a 7.85-inch iPad, also known as the "iPad mini."