Backtracking on rumors of a 7.85-inch iPad, the site predicts that Apple will release two 9.7-inch models with QXGA resolution (1,536x2,048) and a dual-LED light bar design. Though unlikely, the new versions are said to be scheduled for unveiling at iWorld which takes place on January 26, 2012.
Apple is thought to be unveiling multiple iPad versions so that it can address the entry-level, mid-range, and high-end market segments.
Sharp will be the major panel supplier for Apple's next-generation iPad series, while Samsung Electronics and LG Display are also responsible for a part of the orders, the sources said. Minebea, from which Sharp sources backlight units (BLUs), has accordingly entered the supply chain for the new iPads, the sources pointed out.
Apple continues to contract Samsung to manufacture its quad-core A6 processors, which will be used in the next-generation iPads, the sources revealed. The existing iPad 2 is based on the dual-core A5.
DigiTimes continues by pointing to Samsung as the supplier for a 5MP CMOS image sensor and Sony as the supplier for an 8MP sensor.
In addition, Simplo Technology and Dynapack International Technology have both secured orders for batteries with a capacity of as high as 14,000 milliampere-hour (mAh) used in the new iPads, according to the sources.
The iPad 2 will likely remain available for a discounted price in order to compete with lower end tablets like the Kindle Fire.