Rumours orginating in sources at Apple component suppliers in the Far East suggest that the next iPad will be an incremental upgrade to the iPad 2.

Digitimes reports that next-generation iPad will enter mass production soon with the launch set for March 2012 - repeating rumours that we've heard already and fitting in with Apple's existing 12-month iPad cycle.

However, the news from suppliers isn't all good - apparently insiders at Apple regard the next iPad as an incremental update to the iPad 2, rather than an all-new iPad 3. The iPad 3, the report claims, will launch in the third quarter of 2012.

The iPad 2 upgrade - already being called the iPad 2S by some - will be thinner than iPad 2 and have better battery life, the report claims.

Digitimes does point out, though, that Apple has no reason to rush out an updated iPad 2, with sales of the device still strong.

As for the rumoured features we've heard about - smaller dock connectors, a retina display and the like - there's no mention. It could be that the production challenges claimed by display manufacturers Samsung and LG have caused Apple to change its plans, but that remains to be seen.