Apple looks set to kick off iPad 3 production in January 2012, according to a DigiTimes report.
The publication, which covers the semiconductor, electronics and computer industries in Taiwan and China, claims to have been informed by industry sources that Samsung, LG and Sharp will have shipped millions of high-resolution flat panel units for next-generation iPads to Apple by the end of the year.
Touch module makers TPK Holding and Wintek are also expected to begin shipping their products to Apple between now and December, suggesting the platform holder's contract manufacturer Foxconn will start assembling the new tablets in January.
DigiTimes also says Apple is testing samples of a new 7.85-inch iPad display delivered by AU Optronics and LG. The iPad 2 has a 9.7 inch display.
The site reported earlier this month that Apple plans to launch iPad 3 and iPhone 5 next year, as well as overhaul its iMac and MacBook Air lines.