According to DigiTimes, an outlet based in Taiwan where Apple manufacturer Foxconn also calls home, the Cupertino company has ordered one million flat-panel displays from the likes of Samsung, LG, and Sharp. Apple has further plans to order another two million units next month, which would put Apple and Foxconn to begin production on the new devices in January.

Production samples include a 7.85-inch screen (down from the iPad 2’s 9.5-inch panel), which also suggests Apple could be weighing multiple iterations of the iPad 3. 

Obviously a release date is still up in the air, though a Q3 2012 drop could be the earliest possibility in the cards.

[via Business Insider and DigiTimes]