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iPad 3 production has begun, claims report

Will hit full volume 'by February'

Apple's manufacturing partners have begun production of the iPad 3, which will have a faster processor and work with LTE networks, a report has claimed.

 Follow the Apple iPad 3 launch live with our liveblog from the event: Live: Apple iPad 3 launch.

Bloomberg reports that production of the device began this month and will reach full volumes some time in February, according to a source.

The report, which focuses on claims made by three separate anonymous sources said to be "familiar with the product" also claims that the third-generation iPad will use a quad-core processor and support LTE (long-term evolution) networks.

According to one source, Apple wants to put an LTE chip in the iPad before the iPhone because the larger device's more capacious battery will be better able to handle the power demands of the new chip.

The display of the iPad 3 is also said to have a greater resolution than its predecessor, and is said to have "more pixels on its screen than some high- definition televisions". There is a better graphic processor, too, which means that videos will start playing almost "instantly", one source claimed.

Mass production began at the start of January, with production lines in some of Foxconn's Chinese factories running for 24 hours a day, the report says. Manufacturing will stop temporarily for the Chinese New Year later this month and then restart in February, apparently.

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