iPad 3 Production May Have Already Started

Apple's supply chain is, as ever, very generous when it comes to leaked information regarding the company's next-generation devices. Now the interest has shifted towards Apple's highly anticipated tablet, the iPad 3.

Recently Jeff Fidacaro, analyst for Susquehanna Financial, claimed that the iPad 3 is heading into production, AllThingsD reports. The analyst cites sources from the supply chain who say that Apple is increasing iPad orders for the final quarter of 2011, from 11 - 13 million units, to 12 - 14 million.

Fidacaro assumes that the difference is due to early production of the new iPad 3. "Since our last month supply chain checks we are now seeing 600,000 to one million iPad 3 builds showing up on the plan for the fourth quarter of calendar 2011," Fidacaro told AllThingsD.

Also Apple is belived to have shipped 11.5 million iPads in the third quarter of 2011 and 13 million more will hit the shelves by the end of the year.

If the rumour proves to be true and Apple is already preparing for a new release, the event is most likely to take place in the spring of 2012. A March unveiling would follow Apple's product upgrade cycle being around the anniversary of the iPad 2 launch.