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Rumor: Apple already drumming up parts for iPad 3

Taiwanese hardware makers are striving to obtain certification from Apple to supply parts for the iPad 3, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes.

Apple's iPad 2
Apple's iPad 2 Apple

Although the iPad 2 is only a few months old, Apple is already trying to gather up the necessary parts for the iPad 3, according to a report from DigiTimes yesterday.

Citing industry sources, DigiTimes said that Apple has begun certifying components for the next-generation iPad, a process that's triggered quick responses from many Taiwan-based hardware manufacturers.

The sources said that Radiant Opto-Electronics has already won certification for its LED backlight units, while makers of backlight modules and light bars have received certification as well.

One component still to be certified is the tablet's touch-screen panel itself. Companies such as Samsung and LG have typically supplied panels for Apple, but DigiTimes said that Apple is close to certifying panels made by Taiwan-based Chimei Innolux.

DigiTimes also mentioned rumors that Apple would use AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) panels made by Samsung for the next iPad, however, industry sources said they believe the tablet will still sport the same 9.7-inch LCD display used in the first two iPads. Apple and Samsung have also been embroiled in a couple of dicey lawsuits with each other, potentially making it difficult for the two companies to work together right now.

To no surprise, component makers say the iPad 3 will launch in 2012. But some of the Taiwanese parts suppliers believe Apple will lower the price to compete with rival tablet makers.