Apple is planning to adopt the thin-film touch panels it uses in its iPad mini for its upcoming iPad 5, which is expected to be released later this year, according to a new report.

Digitimes has this week reported that suppliers of thin-film panels are likely to see a significant increase in orders from Apple in the third quarter of this year, as the company prepares to release its fifth-generation iPad.

The report cites industry sources who claim that Apple will use the panel technology used for the iPad mini's display to make the bigger iPad thinner and lighter

Apple's next 10in iPad is widely expected to take design inspiration from the iPad mini, with thinner side bezels and an anodized aluminium backplate. In January, photographs of what is said to a leaked iPad 5 back plate emerged online, adding evidence to these rumours.

 

Some speculation has also pointed to a summer release for the new iPad, with some even suggesting that Apple could unveil the iPad 5 and a new iPad mini as early as April. But Digitimes' latest report indicates that we could see a later launch date for the new tablets than has been forecast.

In February, Apple introduced a new 128GB model of its fourth-generation iPad, so an April launch for a new design seems unlikely so soon after the new model hit the shelves.

See also:

New iPad 5 release date, rumours and leaked images

iPad 5 patents: inductive Smart Cover contains battery

iPad 5 rumour rollup for the week ending 22 March

New renderings compare iPad 5 with iPad 4, iPad mini, iPhone 5

New thinner and more power efficient iPad 5 could feature 'stunning' screen