The iPad 2 could be launched in April, according to reports from Taiwan, with Apple making plans with several circuit board suppliers.
Digitimes reports that three new suppliers have been asked to provide any-layer HDI-PCB boards for Apple. The company already has four other HDI-PCB suppliers lined up, bringing the total to seven.
The suppliers will be making limited shipments of the boards from the end of February, the report claims, and early March. Mass shipments will begin in April.
This suggests that Apple is gearing up for some kind of launch in April - probably US-only at first, as Macworld reported last week, followed by a July launch for some international markets.
However, another theory is that Apple is thinking more about making sure the activities of other tablet vendors don't cause any production delays. Motorola and RIM both plan to launch tablet devices soon and there were dozens more on display at the recent Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month.
These vendors will all require HDI-PCB boards for their own tablets, so Apple may simply be making sure it gets in first in order to make sure its launch schedule isn't disrupted.
Demand for the iPad since its 2010 launch has exceeded expectations, with Apple shifting 7.33 million units in the last quarter. Demand for a second-generation iPad is bound to be high, even if the feature set of the iPad 2 device is still something of a mystery.
Reports that the iPad 2 would have a greatly increased resolution have been questioned this week, with Digg founder Kevin Rose saying that there will be "no change in resolution" on the iPad 2, reports 9to5Mac.