Technology giant Apple has begun manufacturing a lighter and thinner tablet computer with camera technology on the front, it has emerged.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, people familiar with the matter say the display will be similar to the original iPad. However, the new device will come with more memory and a more powerful graphics processor.
The report also says the new iPad will be available initially on Verizon Wireless and AT&T in the US, but not with Sprint Nextel.
Will new iPad 2 be ready for release in March?
Rumours began to emerge earlier this week that Apple is getting ready to launch its next-generation iPad this month and will confirm a release date for the product for some point in March.
Traditionally, Apple confirms release dates for products in January but the theory is because Verizon is launching the iPhone 4 on its network tomorrow, Apple wants to wait until after 10 February to make a formal announcement on the iPad 2.
Formal announcements are also expected on the much-anticipated white iPhone 4, the upcoming iPhone 5 and iOS 4.3.
Since Apple launched the iPad last year, it has notched up sales of 14.8m devices, bringing in revenues of US$4.6bn, or 17pc of the company’s total revenue.
Industry analysts Piper Jaffray & Co estimate Apple will sell 27m iPads in 2011.
Foxcom is assembling the new iPad in China.