Further evidence that Apple is planning to launch a 7.85in version of the iPad has emerged from sources in the company's supply chain.

Digitimes reports that these anonymous sources now believe that Apple will choose to use a slim bezel in what some are calling the 'iPad mini' in order to maximise the viewing area of the tablet.

The sources claim that the new, smaller model may not have a Retina display like the new iPad, but will use IPS/FFS (in-plane switching/fringe-field switching) panels manufactured by LG Display and AU Optronics.

Earlier rumours named these two companies as suppliers of displays for the smaller iPad. The price of such a device is likely to be in the $249 - $299 (around £126 to £158) range, the Digitimes report claims.

Samsung's investment bank arm Samsung Securities has also touted the likelihood of Apple launching a smaller tablet device perhaps in the third quarter of 2012.

Other reports suggesting that prototypes of the device are in testing with production to begin in the second quarter of 2012 have been circulating in recent months.