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Thursday, November 17, 2011, 07:00 pm PT (10:00 pm ET)

Rumor: Display suppliers shipping 3M iPad 3 panels for assembly in Jan. 2012

Samsung, LG Display and Sharp have begun shipping high-resolution displays for Apple's next generation iPad as Foxconn prepares to begin assembly in January 2012, a new report claims.

The suppliers reportedly shipped a total of one million panels in October and will ship two million more this month, industry sources told DigiTimes on Friday.

Sources also said touch module suppliers will begin shipping components in mid-November to December with combined shipments of one million units a month from Wintek and TPK Holding. They claimed Apple manufacturer Foxconn is likely to start assembling the third-generation iPad in January of next year.

An earlier report from the publication claimed Apple planned to build two million next-generation iPad units by the end of this year.

The iPad 3 display has been widely rumored to boast a doubled resolution of 2,048 x 1,536 pixels. Retina Display-like pixel density would likely accelerate adoption of Apple's touchscreen tablet in the medical and aviation industries.

But, scattered reports out of Apple's supply chain suggest that producing the displays at a low cost and high volume has proved difficult for the iPad maker's partners. The increased resolution has also reportedly introduced new technical issues, such as whether to add a second LED light bar to the device.

Apple's next-generation iPad is expected to sport a quad-core A6 CPU and is rumored to include a smaller dock connector and a thinner, lighter battery.

Friday's report also noted that suppliers have sent Apple samples of a 7.85-inch iPad panel, but it was unable to verify whether Apple had decided to go with the smaller form factor. Rumors of a forthcoming 7-inch iPad picked up steam last month, despite the fact that late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs disparaged the size as being too small.