There have been rumors for the past several months that Apple might pull out a surprise this fall and release the third generation of its iPad tablet. Today Digitimes has added some fuel to that speculation, stating via unnamed sources that Taiwan supply companies "have begun to prepare materials for the production" of both the iPad 3 and the fifth version of Apple's iPhone. The article adds that both products are "likely to make their debuts in September and to hit the market in October."
So far there's been no concrete news on the iPad 3 launch before the end of 2011. The Digitime story seems to suggest the iPad 3 will be lighter and thinner than the current version of the tablet and also have a screen resolution of 250 ppi. Some have speculated that any third generation version of the iPad would also have a quad-core processor. The current iPad 2 has the A5 dual core processor which has twice the overall performance and nine times the graphical performance of the first 2010 version of the iPad.
The article claims that total iPad shipments for 2011, including both the iPad 2 and the unconfirmed iPad 3, will reach 40 million units. The article also states that Apple is expected to ship a total of 85 million iPhones worldwide in 2011. The article says that only one version of the new iPhone will be released this year. There had been speculation that Apple might launch a second smaller and cheaper version of the iPhone.