Digitimes reports shed light on early 2011 tablet market

iPad 2 ‘due Q1 2011’ ahead of RIM PlayBook

The next-generation Apple iPad will enter production before the end of the year for a first quarter 2011 launch, reports suggest.

According to Taiwanese tech site Digitimes, while the new iPad will be out in Q1, RIM’s PlayBook will not appear outside the US until the second quarter of 2011.

Two reports citing sources within the East Asian manufacturing industry have shed some light on the timetable of the impending battle of the tablets between Apple and would-be tablet rival Research in Motion.

The first of which is a technical report of sub contracting for the production of various components for the ‘iPad 2’ which points to initial printed circuit boards being available before the end of the year. While such anonymous manufacturer tip-offs are common on the Digitimes, they have also largely proven to be accurate.

The Digitimes didn’t need to resort to an anonymous tip regarding the upcoming RIM PlayBook tablet, having been told by RIM Asia Pacific regional vice president Gregory Wade that the PlayBook would arrive in the US in the first quarter of 2011 but the rest of the world would need to wait until the second quarter.

RIM recently uploaded a YouTube video entitled “BlackBerry PlayBook and iPad Comparison: Web Fidelity” in which the unreleased PlayBook is shown outperforming the current generation of iPad. However it seems that such a comparison may soon be rendered immaterial with the second generation iPad, with presumably boosted specifications, will arrive for most of the world ahead of the RIM PlayBook.

The DigiTimes report also priced the PlayBook at $500 and said that it would support 4G wireless technologies but Wade would not confirm whether this would be WiMAX or rival 4G standard LTE.

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