Citing sources close to Taiwan-based supply chain companies, a DigiTimes report states that the production of the upcoming fifth-generation iPad will begin in July – August 2013. The source, however, said that the “yield rates” for important parts of the 9.7-inch tablet, especially the touch panels, could be “a major concern for smooth production.”

The sources said the iPad 5 will be thinner and lighter than the iPad 4 and is said to embody a slim bezel, quite like the iPad mini. The device's display is likely to be supplied by LG Display and Sharp, while the touch panel assembly will reportedly be carried out by TPK, a Taiwanese company. The ITO thin-film will be supplied by Nitto Denko and Teijin.

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Thinner and lighter than the fourth-generation iPad

The Apple iPad is said to be powered by an A6X processor. We've also heard that the iPad 5 may come with the same touchscreen structure as the iPad mini. The G/F2 (DITO) thin-film type touchscreen structure on the iPad mini will help the tablet achieve a thinner and lighter appeal, reports in the media said. For those not in the know, the current iPad models use a G/G touchscreen structure.

As is customary with Apple's products, we've had leaks about the next iPad coming in regularly. Some images of what is said to be the iPad 5 popped up in January this year. The pictures show the rear of a 9.7-inch tablet with a dubious-looking, smudged iPad logo and branding. If the images are genuine, this tablet will take a lot of cues from the design approach the Cupertino giant used with the iPad mini. The images were claimed to be sourced from an accessories manufacturer in China.

9to5Mac also revealed some more details about the dimensions and design of the new iPad. The site was informed that the images showed a prototype back piece for the fifth-generation iPad with a 9.7-inch display. They were also told that the casing is almost as thin as the iPad mini’s back. The Chinese accessories manufacturer sent several images to 9to5Mac, so if this is a hoax, it’s a rather elaborate one. The pictures line up well with a previous leak, which also claimed that the design of the iPad was about to be changed.

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