AppleInsider reports today that according to Japanese website MacOtakara, Foxconn and Pegatron have begun the process of assembling the next iPad, and it should be available by the beginning of March. MacOtakara says that it has learned from a Chinese source that Foxconn has been given 85 percent of the production load, with Pegatron having been given 15 percent. According to the source, the fact that the Chinese New Year festival is earlier than usual this year, running from January 23-28, will facilitate a speeded up production schedule. The source also says that this new iPad model will have an LCD screen made by Sharp. Apparently accessory manufacturers have already received information about the vital statistics of the next iPad to enable them to start producing accessories as soon as possible. Some accessory companies are already saying that tight-fitting iPad 2 cases will not fit the new iPad, but apparently iPad 2 Smart Covers will fit, even though magnets for the new Smart Cover are said to be situated differently.
One final and very interesting nugget of new info from the report says that the next iPad might be called the iPad 2S rather than the iPad 3.
Source: AppleInsider | Foxconn, Pegatron to ship first batch of 'iPad 3' units in early March - rumor