iPad 3 Mini about to Challenge Amazon Fire ?
Hot on the heels of last week’s iPad 3 March launch date rumor, it has emerged that Apple may finally be about to reveal an iPad mini, releasing a 7 inch challenger to Amazon's popular Fire tablet. flickr/Sean MacEntee

Even as the world is getting ready to welcome 2012, the rumor mills are keeping themselves busy with trying to to figure out what features and release date of the next generation iPad - and the latest rumor is that the new iPad, dubbed iPad 3, will be thinner thanits predecessor because of IGZO panels.

Taiwan-based DigiTimes, citing anonymous sources in Apple's supply chain, has just revealed the latest rumor about the next generation iPad, saying the company will use IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) flat panels to increase the device's resolution to full HD level, rather than using the current IPS (in-plane switching) panels on its tablet.

The Taiwan-based newspaper reported that Apple might cooperate with Sharp, for the Japanese company has introduced the IGZO technology. The sources told DigiTimes that currently Sharp has been scaling back some of its large-screen production resources to make way for small-size panels for smartphones and tablet.

Even though most Taiwanese manufacturers can produce IGZO panels, their biggest concern is that the yield rates of such panels are still unclear, DigiTimes cited the sources as saying.

If the rumor is true, iPad 3 might be thinner than its predecessors, and it would contradict previous rumors that it may be thicker than iPad 2 due to the extra capacity needed to support an LED backlighting system for the high resolution panel.

Without doubt, the display of the next iPad will be the major talking point till Apple unveils the tablet.