Bloomberg reports via Twitter that production of the next generation tablet is supposed to have started this month according to three people familiar with the situation. Rumors indicate it will have a high-density retina display, 4G LTE data radio, and a quad-core A6 processor.
The iPad is allegedly being produced by Apple's Foxconn partner. Foxconn has been producing iPhones and iPads for Apple since the introduction of the first iPhone. Factories are running 24 hours a day to keep up with the tablet's production order. Production will only stop during the during China's Lunar New Year holiday.
According to the Bloomberg's sources, the iPads pixel density will be higher than that of high definition TVs with pixels small enough to make images look like printed material. The iPad's current display resolution is 1,024 x 768 at 132ppi. According to information found in the iOS 5 SDK, the Retina display could bump that up to 1,536 x 2,048. Also Ming-Chi Kuo of Concord Securities, said the display may get FFS (fringe-field switching) technology that would give the device a wider viewing angle and clearer visual quality in sunlight.
The thickness of the next-generation iPad could be determined by its display and whether or not Apple can secure the rights to Sharp's IGZO technology. There are conflicting reports concerning Apple's ability to secure the rights to the technology. If they were unsuccessful, the new iPad might have to be thicker than its predecessor to handle the dual light bar design of LG and Samsung's high-resolution IPS display.
The updated quad-core A6 processor, and possibly updated GPU, will launch videos almost instantaneously according to Bloomberg's source.
Previously, Apple has steered clear of 4G LTE technology in the iPhone and iPad citing battery drain. Recently, chips with advanced 40nm process technology have cut battery consumption and reduced the amount of space needed by an LTE chip. Apple shouldn't be concerned about coverage with most of the major carriers scheduled to have a larger 4G presence by the end of the year.
When this news breaks from a rumor site or a newspaper in Asia with a circulation of three, we usually ignore it. But we're wondering if Bloomberg might actually have something here. [Bloomberg]