Apple is expected to launch a new version of the iPad in the spring, according to reports yesterday.

The DigiTimes, a technology publication based in Taiwan with a history of accurately predicting major product launches, reported yesterday that mass production of the so-called iPad 2 will begin in February.

The DigiTimes says Apple has told Foxconn, the Chinese factory that makes many of its products, that they will ship the iPad 2 within the next 100 days.

The publication said Apple is expected to have an initial shipment of between 400,000 and 600,000 units.

Apple has already sold more than 7.5 million versions of the iPad since it first went on sale in April 2010.

An April 2011 release of the iPad 2 would follow the company’s habit of releasing new products on an annual basis.

The iPad 2 is, according to insiders, due to come equipped with a high-resolution retina display, similar to that found in the iPhone 4, a front-facing camera to allow users to make FaceTime video calls, and an integrated gyroscope.

It is likely that the iPad 2 will be available in other parts of the world, as well as in the United States — traditionally the premium market for Apple.