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Apple reportedly has a lot of product releases planned for next year, including updated iMac and MacBook Airs, the iPad 3 and the iPhone 5.
These tidbits of information come from Taiwanese blog Digitimes, which has previously picked up accurate news from sources in Apple’s supply chain. The product refreshes are said to include complete overhauls of the personal computers named above.
The blog’s sources said that Apple is ordering enough inventory to manufacture 2 million iPad 3 units by the end of 2011 and that important iPad 3 components have final order dates in December of this year.
Last month, two research analysts predicted the 2012 iPad 3 launch, as well. Susquehanna Financial Group’s Jeffrey Fidacaro and Christopher Caso both published research notes about the device, with Caso saying that as many as one million iPad 3 units could be built between now and the end of 2011.
Earlier in 2011, Apple had to disclose some rather low sales revenues for the iPad 2. During Q2 2011, Apple shipped fewer than 5 million units — much lower than the projected figures, which had ranged between 6 and 8 million.
But the company said the lower sales figures weren’t due to flagging consumer demand.
“We sold every iPad 2 we could make,” said Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer at the time, indicating that the supply chain was the problem.
In September 2011, we read reports that the company had been slashing the number of iPads it was ordering from manufacturers. According to analysts at JPMorgan, this happened because the company was shifting its focus (and the focus of its supply-chain partners) to the manufacture of the iPad 3.
Digitimes’ supply chain sources also stated Apple has requested the development of flat panel modules and LED light bars for two iPad 3 prototypes, which were reportedly codenamed J1 and J2. Touchscreen panels should begin shipping this month from TPK Holdings and next month from Wintek.
As for the iPhone 5 and the new iMac, Digitimes predicts a Q3 or Q4 unveiling of those products.