iPad 3 launch rumored for Steve Jobs’ Feb 24 birthday

With Christmas today comes the gift of another iPad 3 rumor, this one relating to the unannounced tablet’s release date. It’s February 24, the same day as Steve Jobs‘ birthday. At least according to unnamed sources “close to Taiwanese makers in the iPad 3 supply chain” speaking to Chinese-language newspaper Economic Daily News (via Focus Taiwan). It’s not clear if the date refers to a product launch or an announcement, though 9to5mac notes that Apple traditionally launches new products on Fridays, as February 24 is.

The sources say that employees at a number of companies known or believed to be working on the iPad 3 have been told to expect a heavy workload around the Lunar New Year. Apple manufacturer Foxconn reportedly isn’t allowing employees to take any more than five days off during the holiday. The word is that the iPad 3’s initial shipment “could exceed 4 million units.”

Remember that this is all rumor for now, and will likely stay that way until early next year. Even if there weren’t hard evidence to support it, there would be little doubt that a third iPad is coming soon. Apple is a company that likes sticking to a script, and the script clearly pegs another tablet announcement/launch for the start of the year. Yes, the iPhone 4S launch was shuffled just this year from the usual summer release to the fall. My money’s still on early ’12 for the next iPad though.

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