The iPad 5th generation model could be released as early as March 2013.
The Japanese blog Macotakara is reporting that Apple is planning to launch the new tablet at the end of the first quarter of 2013, according to information it received from an inside source.
The source revealed to the site that the design of the new iPad will be similar to the iPad Mini as it is meant to be thinner and lightweight.
It is rumored to be 4mm, 17mm, and 2mm smaller in height, width, and depth than the current models.
This is not the first time that a company has reported on an early-to-mid-year release for the next-generation iPad. DigiTimes also recently stated that a new Apple tablet would be dropping towards the middle of next year. iPads normally launch during the first couple months of the year.
Macotakara is normally a dependable source of accurate information as the publication correctly predicted the design of this year's iPod Nano and iPod Touch.
However, some analysts have pointed out that a March release would be extremely early for Apple as the company just launched the 4th generation model two months ago. This would be the its second major tablet release in five months.
Apple is also rumored to be releasing an iPad Mini 2 in the near future.
DigiTimes reported earlier this month that Apple is planning to increase the screen resolution of the already popular iPad Mini for its official successor.
The company's main focus with the next iPad Mini is to make its resolution on par with the high-end 4th generation iPad.
DigiTimes sources did not confirm if Apple would be using a retina display on the next-generation iPad Mini, but industry analysts are pretty sure that this is the route the company will take.