Apple is set to unveil its next-generation iPad - which will come in two versions - at the iWorld scheduled for January 26, 2012, according to sources at its supply chain partners. The new models will join the existing iPad 2 to demonstrate Apple's complete iPad series targeting the entry-level, mid-range and high-end market segments, the sources claimed.
The iPad 2 will be competing directly with Amazon's kindle Fire in the price-sensitive market segment, while the new models will focus on the mid-range and high-end segments respectively, the sources said.
Apple officials declined to comment.
Instead of the previously-rumored 7.85-inch, the upcoming iPad models will still feature 9.7-inch screens but come with QXGA resolution (1,536x2,048 pixels), the sources indicated. Dual-LED light bars are designed for the new iPads to strengthen the brightness of the panels, the sources added.
Sharp will be the major panel supplier for Apple's next-generation iPad series, while Samsung Electronics and LG Display are also responsible for a part of the orders, the sources said. Minebea, from which Sharp sources backlight units (BLUs), has accordingly entered the supply chain for the new iPads, the sources pointed out.
Apple continues to contract Samsung to manufacture its quad-core A6 processors, which will be used in the next-generation iPads, the sources revealed. The existing iPad 2 is based on the dual-core A5.
Samsung is also among the CMOS image sensor (CIS) suppliers for one of the versions of the new iPad that comes with a 5-megapixel lens, marking the Korea-based vendor's first time to grab CIS orders from Apple, the sources noted. Sony is the other CIS supplier for the other model with a higher 8-megapixel lens, the sources added.
In addition, Simplo Technology and Dynapack International Technology have both secured orders for batteries with a capacity of as high as 14,000 milliampere-hour (mAh) used in the new iPads, according to the sources.