I proclaim today the day of the iPad. First it was rumors about the possible inclusion of a 7.85 inch iPad in 2012, and now it seems that Apple could possibly be looking to launch the iPad 3 around February 24th in order to mark the birthday of founder Steve Jobs who passed away earlier this year.

The Focus Taiwan News Channel has ran with an article which refers to information posted in a local Chinese language newspaper hinting that productions rates indicate a mid first quarter launch:

Citing sources close to Taiwanese makers in the iPad 3 supply chain, the Economic Daily news said the gadget could be launched in mid-first quarter of next year or by the end of March.

The report runs into further detail about the complexities of developing a new product and the problems caused in the supply chain and that it will take time for all involved to ensure the smooth operations of their supply chains. Details included in the write up indicate that works at several component supply plants and those at Foxconn will be afforded limited time off during the annual Lunar new year holiday period. Workers, generally are allocated a period of time to be absent from work around that time, which will fall on the 23rd January next year.

It is generally this time of the year when rumors start doing the rounds about when the next generation of iPad will be released. Recent reports have conflicting release times with some indicating that the iPad 3 will be introduced to the world during March or April, and with others opting for an earlier release date of February 2012.

The early 2011 launch of the Apple MacBook Pro models actually took place on Steve Jobs’ birthday, which could indicate that the company has set precedent. However, that is more likely to be a simple case of coincidence as it was a Thursday launch taking place during the Presidents Day holiday week.

Obviously we don’t know yet know the specifications of the new iPad, although I am sure those rumors will start soon enough. However, it seems highly unlikely to me that the company would attempt to speed up production of the iPad or bring the intended launch date forward in order to make the launch date Steve Jobs birthday. I just don’t believe they would potentially sacrifice quality by producing products quicker.

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