New iPad version coming soon?

Apple is preparing for a production run in the fourth quarter, one analyst says, and it could include up to 1 million new models.

By Kim Peterson Oct 14, 2011 1:36PM
Now that Apple (AAPL) has the iPhone 4S out of development and onto store shelves, it can ramp up its next big release: a new iPad.

One analyst says the iPad 3 is heading into production in the fourth quarter. Jeff Fidacaro of Susquehanna Financial tells AllThingsD that his supply chain checks show Apple boosting fourth-quarter iPad production to between 12 million and 14 million.

Most of those units are for the current iPad. But Fidacaro sees an early production run of the iPad 3 in there. He says Apple has scheduled 600,000 to 1 million iPad 3 units on the plan for the fourth quarter.

If Fidacaro is correct, Apple is starting to build up an iPad 3 inventory, perhaps with an eye on a launch early next year.

The iPad has been the dominant force in the tablet sector since it debuted in April 2010. Other companies have rushed to produce competing tablets, but nothing has really dented the iPad's lead.

Even Cisco is getting into the market, as the following video shows.

Post continues below.
But Apple might be feeling some pressure now that Amazon (AMZN) has announced its entry into the market. Amazon's Kindle Fire is set to launch Nov. 15 for a mere $199. The Fire has fewer bells and whistles than the iPad, which starts at $499, but the price difference alone is certainly enough to pique customer interest.

AppleInsider says Apple may be exploring a cheaper iPad for release in early 2012. The move would surely be to counter the Kindle Fire's price point. A cheaper iPad could be priced in the mid- to high $200 range, an analyst with Ticonderoga Securities wrote in a note to investors.

Tags: AAPLAMZN
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