Steve Jobs may have refuted all rumors of the making of a smaller sized iPad in the 7 inch and 5 inch categories though there are already indications of development work underway for the next generation iPad which is likely to go on sale sometime during the first half of next year. The above stems from the fact that many of the suppliers who have been entrusted with the development of several component that would find application in the second generation iPad are gearing up for production by next month.
As per reports coming in, its Ibiden, Tripod Technology and TTM Technologies that have been selected to supply the printed circuit boards or PCB of the new iPad. The companies will initially be producing the components in smaller numbers but will ramp up production towards February 2011 which is when the iPad is likely to be released. The choice of companies presents a diverse scenario as Ibiden is based in Japan, Tripod Technology operate out of Taiwan while TTM Technologies is a US based company. All three companies meet at a common point though, they all have production facilities in China which is where the components are most likely to be produced. There will be four more suppliers who will also join the second gen iPad party from February onwards though they are yet to be made public.
The expected timing of the new iPad ties in with what was being already rumored, that a new iPad will be launch in early 2011. This is also in line with the usual Apple tradition of bringing along the improved version withing one year of the release of the product. This is something that Apple has been following with the iPhone and the same should also apply to the iPad as both are based on the same operating system.
About the new iPad, while we know it will surely be an improvement over the current gen iPad, unfortunately, nothing is known of the new iPad’s feature list. However, what seems to be a surety is the inclusion of front and rear facing cameras which will allow one to engage in live chat via Apple’s FaceTime video chat service. Something that is already possible on most other Apple products. Processor speed is also likely to be enhanced along with system memory as most other tablets that have been released in recent times came with a 1 GHz processor.