"Apple originally planned to start mass production in January, but because the device's firmware is currently still in testing, Apple has been postponing the schedule. Since Foxconn's new plants in Chengdu are still in pilot production, iPad 2 will be mainly supplied by its Shenzhen plants, while the company's upstream component partners have all been notified of the shipments schedule."
The iPad has been one of the most successful consumer electronic devices of all time in terms of sales, all without having many features that most consumers consider "essential." The iPad 2 will almost certainly have a front-facing camera capable of Apple's open standard video chat software, FaceTime, as well as a fast processor and more RAM.
Rumors are also floating as to whether Apple will manage to include a Retina Display on the new model. iPads have been shipping at a clip of between 3 and 7 million units over the last three quarters (estimated for Q4). If this rumor holds true, expect to see stories about iPad supply shortages around late January as the supply chain starts preparing for the new model.
Are you waiting for the iPad 2? Let me know in the comments!