The iPad 3 is likely to be thicker than its predecessor, according to a report, but will support the Apple Smart Cover.

Macotakara, a Japanese technology blog with a dubious track record on Apple rumours, said that an Asian supplier which is providing parts for the next-generation iPad that the screen size will be the same as the iPad 2 but will be thicker for an "unknown reason".

However, despite the additional thickness, it will still support the Apple Smart Cover, as "front rounding corner will be same with current iPad".

While the report might seem a little doubtful in origin, it isn't the first time we've heard about the next-generation iPad being thicker than its predecessor. Just last month, iLounge reported that the iPad 3 would be around 0.7mm thicker than the iPad 2.

This additional thickness is apparently required to accomodate dual-light bars needed for a higher resolution display. The higher resolution display, which is likely to be four times the current 2048 x 1536 according to reports, will need more than just a single LED light bar to maintain its brightness.

However, more recent reports cast doubt on the dual-light bar theory, with Apple planning to use Sharp's IGZO (indium-gallium-zinc) LCD panels for the iPad 3 instead. 

IGZO technology could be a good solution to Apple's requirement for high-resolution, low-power displays as it doesn't require the IPS (in-plane switching) panel technology to provide wide viewing angles, nor will it necessitate dual-bar LED backlighting.