The latest rumor from Japanese blog Macotakara claims that production for the next-generation iPad has already begun, and that Apple is expected to ship the product by early March. Foxconn and Pegatron are reportedly manufacturing the iPad 3 as we speak, and Foxconn is responsible for 85% of the supplies.

According to the report, initial shipments are scheduled to go out in early March, corroborating early claims from different sources. Apple is expected to hold a low-key media event at the end of January, but no dates have been given for other events in the coming months.

From Google Translate:

According to Chinese source, Foxconn Technology and Pegatron Technology started next generation of iPad assembly with Foxconn bearing 85% and Pegatron taking 15% of the production load like as iPhone 4S. Accelerated schedule is made possible by earlier Chinese New Year festival, 23rd-28th January.

Macotakara also says that Sharp is making the iPad 3’s displays — another claim that has been reported before. While Macotakara has gotten rumors wrong in the past, it is considered to be more reliable than Digitimes, a Taiwanese publication that has been the main source of next-generation iPad rumors so far.

iLounge claimed to have gotten a hands-on with the iPad 3’s rear shell yesterday, noting that the device would be nearly identical to the iPad 2’s exterior design. A new, higher resolution screen was expected from iLounge, and Macotakara says that the current Smart Cover will fit the new tablet. Like iLounge, Macotakara claims that the iPad 3 will be slightly thicker than its predecessor.

With all signs pointing towards a new model in the next 3-4 months, it would be wise to wait on purchasing a new iPad for the time being.

  • No jb no Buy!

    • Dan

      funny, at first glance I read that, no bj no buy

  • ^^^^starting to put little chunks of extra cash away so i’m ready to buy on release!

    • Little?? Dunno about you but I would have to live off bread and butter for the next 3 months to put cash aside for an iPad.

    • I get my student loan check the 2nd month of February! BUT if it comes out and is called the iPad 2S”, I’m getting a MacBook Air and waiting until October when the iPad 3 comes out. I feel like I’m going to get burned on the iPhone 4S I just shelled out $500 on (with AppleCare+).

      • i do phone repairs on the side.really helps me out to buy things i want and enjoy without having to dip into my paychecks..

  • Super…!

  • Prathik Nair

    Come on guys! i read the steve jobs book about 12 times and it states clearly that steve jobs said thinner is better. If this gets any thicker than they have made no progress. Disgracing the Steve