A rather reputable source has tipped off the Economic Daily News in Taiwan that a 7-inch iPad could be in the works for a holiday release this year. iLounge first reported the tip in early August, albeit with a potential release date in early 2011. The source in question has a fairly positive track record, predicting the iPad well before Apple’s official announcement.
Another Taiwanese pub, the Digitimes, also reported last week that manufacturing companies have begun production of the 7-inch iPad model.
The report from The Economic Daily News names a couple of specific manufacturers for key components in the “iPad 2”. The LCD screens will be supplied by Chimei Innolux, who will utilize the same technology found in the original iPad’s screen. The in-plane switching (IPS) tech behind the LCD improves viewing angles and color output compared to traditional LCDs. Cando Corporation will be the supplier of the touchscreen components and final assembly will likely take place at Compal Electronics, one of the leading laptop makers in the market.
The holiday season is rapidly approaching. Consumers will start spending in the next month or two and Apple will need to get their butt in gear if they plan on capturing the attention of shoppers and retailers alike. If the rumor is true, we can expect further leaks in the form of shopping adverts and guides. This would be one indication that Apple has contacted major shopping outlets, and the only way they could realistically pull off a smooth holiday launch.
iLounge’s source is rather trustworthy, but all of these details are still considered rumors. Don’t expect to hear any confirmation from component manufacturers. Doing so could hinder their ability to pick up future contracts, more so than a leaked rumor here and there.