By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
December 10, 2010

As Apple gears up production, its Asian supply chain has started to sprout leaks

Two cameras, front and rear. Slimmer. Lighter. A better-resolution display.

Those are the salient details in a Reuters report Friday describing the next-generation iPad, now entering production for what is presumed to be an April launch.

The report, datelined Hong Kong and Taipei, cites four unnamed sources who claim to have inside knowledge about five of Apple’s (AAPL) suppliers.

  • Touchscreen chip designer Wintek
  • Battery maker Simplo Technology Co Ltd
  • AVY Precision, an unlisted maker of covers for electronic products
  • Camera module makers Genius Electronic Optical Co Ltd and Largan Precision Co Ltd

Meanwhile, images of several third-party iPad 2 protective cases have surfaced. They show a hole where a rear-facing camera could peep through and a mysterious cut-out on the bottom left whose purpose is still unclear. Most of the speculation has centered on a slot for an SD camera card.

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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