A Far East news source with a hit and miss track record for predicting Apple's plans, are anticipating the next generation of iPad to be released in February 2011.

DigiTimes, which covers Asia's IT industry, reports Ibiden, Tripod Technology and TTM Technologies have been named as the initial PCB suppliers for Apple's tablet device.

"Apple tablet PC, which is expected to be launched in the first quarter of 2011. Four more suppliers will be added to the list in February 2011, when shipments of the new iPads ramp up, according to industry sources," DigiTimes notes.

Those unnamed sources claim Ibiden, Tripod and TTM have already received certification from Apple to start production, and will start shipping any-layer HDI boards for iPad 2 in small quantities in December.

Apple introduced the iPad in January 2010, with Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO claiming: "iPad is our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price."

In April, Apple announced it had sold over 300,000 iPads on the first day of launch, in May more than 2 million iPads in just 60 days.

Apple iPad

That high US demand helped delay the international launch until 28 May, and Apple's tablet computer continues to be in high demand in the run up to Christmas, winning a recent recommendation from Which? Computer and other festive shopping lists and polls.

Earlier rumours suggest Apple will add front and back facing cameras for FaceTime style chat, a much improved Retina Display, faster processor, more memory, and possibly a smaller 7-inch model or even 5.6-inch model,  although Jobs has already dismissed the idea, insisting: "This size isn't sufficient to create great tablet apps, in our opinion."