Apple has ordered key components such as chips and display panels for the next generation iPad, according to inside sources.
The Wall Street Journal reports that sources claim Apple is working with component suppliers and assemblers in Asia for trial production of the iPad 3 from October, for launch in early 2012.
Sampling components for the iPad 3, which is expected to have a higher resolution display, have reportedly been shipped in small quantities by Apple's suppliers, who have said that Apple has placed orders for a 9.7 inch screen device.
The Wall Street Journal also reports that a spokesperson at one of Apple's component suppliers said: "Suppliers will ramp up production and try to improve the yield rate for the new iPad in the fourth quarter before its official launch in early 2012." The supplier said that Apple has placed orders for parts to make about 1.5 million iPad 3s.
It looks likely that there will be a 2012 launch for the iPad 3, after claims that there would be no iPad 3 in 2011 due to a lack of retina displays.