According to a report from Digitimes the sources have said that manufacturers have begun delivering components for the iPad 3 to OEM assemblers while reducing shipments of parts for the current generation iPad.
This means that the iPad 3 is likely to be three or four months from launch, putting Apple on schedule for a mid-March or April launch.
Last week Citigroup analyst Richard Gardner said in a research note that he expected the third-generation iPad to launch in February.
Gardner also cited sources within the supply chain. According to a separate report on the Chinese-language Commercial Times website, a Citigroup colleague, Kevin Chang, believes that Foxconn will begin to manufacture the iPad 3 in January and ramp up production in February, after the Chinese New Year break.
Production of the new iPads is expected to reach 9.5 million to 9.8 million units in the first quarter of 2012, the sources told Digitimes. As for the iPad 2, production will be between 14 million and 15 million units in the final quarter of 2011, but will decline as far as four million in the first quarter of 2012.
Overall, sales of the iPad will hit 40 million for the whole of 2012, the sources added.