Digitimes reports that Apple has already begun informing its component suppliers to get ready for iPad 4 production by mid 2013. While the design will still incorporate a 9.7-inch display and the same approximate form factor, Apple is said to be tweaking the innards ever so slightly as to make the manufacturing process a tad more simpler.
Specifically, the report notes that Apple is planning to reduce the number of LED chips used in the new iPad. As it stands now, the third-generation iPad employs 84 LED chips for backlighting purposes.
The sources said the next generation iPad will remain its same 9.7-inch size but will simplify its components to give the device a simpler manufacturing design, such as the amount of LED lights that are used. The sources said the New iPad uses one-chip packages for its LED baklight units (BLUs), but the next-generation model will adopt two-chip packages, the sources added.
Apple is also reportedly making adjustments to its New iPads. But the revised version may not be introduced until the first quaret of 2013, said the sources.
With Apple’s upcoming iPad Mini event set for October 23, keep in mind that there have been other reports pointing to a revamped iPad model in the works, potentially with Apple’s new lightning connector and support for 4G networks int he UK. Word of a refreshed third-gen iPad first emerged this past Summer when KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo noted Apple’s plans to release a modified iPad before the end of the year. Further, a revamped iPad might help explain a new iPad designation of “iPad3,6″ which one developer recently noticed making an appearance in his analytics log a few weeks ago.