Even though the iPad 2 is only a few months old, industry reports claim that Apple has already begun certifying Taiwanese component manufacturers for parts in the upcoming iPad 3. So far, light bars and backlight modules have received certification. Panel certification is nearly complete, and Chimei Innolux is tipped to be the panel supplier.
According to Digitimes, rumours of an AMOLED screen are looking unlikely at this stage, and Apple will probably stay with the 9.7 inch LCD screens used in the current iPad. OLED has so far been avoided in Apple's product line, but recent industry reports suggested Apple was preparing to make the jump. A visit to Samsung by Apple COO Tim Cook was rumoured to have taken place, where the two companies discussed the possibility of using OLED in future iPads.
The Taiwanese manufacturers believe that Apple's timing suggests a 2012 release for the iPad 3, contrary to previous reports that the next iPad will break the yearly release cycle and instead see a late 2011 release. The companies also suggest that Apple is looking to lower the price of the iPad in order to keep up with tougher competition. Tablets are becoming more commonplace as each day goes by, and Apple will need to use every available opportunity in order to keep away strong alternatives such as the Xoom.