Japanese blog Macotakara reports that Apple’s manufacturing partners Foxconn and Pegatron have begun production on the next-generation iPad3 with initial units scheduled for early March.

According to Chinese source, Foxconn Technology and Pegatron Technology started next generation of iPad assembly with Foxconn bearing 85% and Pegatron taking 15% of the production load like as iPhone 4S. Accelerated schedule is made possible by earlier Chinese New Year festival, 23rd-28th January.

This first lot production implements LCD’s, which are produced by Sharp Electronics Corporation, and aims to be shipped at early March, source told.

The post provides similar information on the sizing of the iPad3 to that from the iLounge report yesterday, namely that iPad2 cases that have a particularly tight fit won’t fit the iPad3, but looser covers/cases should be fine.

It also reports that the Smartcover from the iPad2 will still fit the iPad3 despite a relocation of the magnet positioning that holds the Smartcover in place.