The latest news about the iPad 2 is that it will entering limited manufacturing the beginning of February. Apple Insider reports on info from China Commercial Times that iPad production will happen the beginning of February in a small number then greatly expand afterwards. This would give Apple adequate time to prepare enough iPads for launch.
Also, production of the iPhone 5 would begin in May and following Apple’s typical product release cycle, would receive an official June launch.
Manufacturing before launch gives Apple the advantage of having enough supply to meet the demand of consumers. However, having such a large supply ready months in advance could lead to a complete leak of an expected yet unannounced product. If such as scenario were to occur, it could be comparable to Gizmodo’s massive iPhone 4 leak.