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Media tablet fans may be able to get their hands on a next-generation iPad by the spring, it has been claimed.

According to, the new iPad model is expected to be available within three to four months.

Manufacturers in the supply chain have started delivering parts and components for the new tablets to OEM contractors, industry sources claimed.

At the same time, fewer iPad 2 components are now being delivered - suggesting a new version is on the horizon.

The sources said OEM production of the iPad 2 will remain high at 14-15 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011.

However, this will decline to 4-5 million units in the first quarter of 2012, as Apple gears up to launch its revamped model.

This could be good news for mobile broadband and Wi-Fi users in the UK, who currently have a number of iPad broadband deals to choose from.

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