iPad Air 3
iPad Air 3 is expected to enter mass production in the second quarter of 2016Getty Images

Unspecified sources in the China supply chain have apparently hinted that the highly-rumoured third-generation iPad Air aka iPad Air 3 will be shipped with a 4K display, 4GB RAM and extended battery life. This information comes from a relatively lesser-known DigiTimes, who claim Taiwanese touch panel makers, General Interface Solution (GIS) and TPK, will be sharing the bulk of production work for iPad Air 3.

It is ascertained that iPad Air 3 could inherit the same display technology that already exists in the new iPad Pro, along with the UV-based photo alignment technique for producing uniform brightness and crisp colours in the display. Besides, a variable refresh rate could be added into the mix for saving battery life by reducing the refresh rate to half, when the screen is in sleep or idle mode.

The report also adds that the third-gen iPad Air is expected to enter mass production in the second quarter of 2016. The display panel makers are reportedly anticipating a noticeable increase in demand for touch-panel devices from Apple in the first half of 2016, owing to the presence of 3D Touch feature on these products.

The proposed 3D Touch feature for iPad Air 3 comes in as a big surprise, especially in the aftermath of recent rumours suggesting that the pressure-sensitive display will not be implemented into the forthcoming iPad Air owing to the production difficulties involved in scaling it up for a larger display.

Although DigiTimes is touted to have a mixed track record with predicting or speculating Apple's forthcoming product plans, it reportedly brings reliability with information sourced from upstream supply chains linked to Apple.

The report further adds that GIS will be responsible for handling LCD modules and backlighting products for touch panels, while TPK will focus exclusively on supplying touch panels. The display panel makers have allegedly claimed that Apple continues to remain positive about improved iPad sales in future, despite its recent fall of sales figures in the tablet market and the rise of competition in this product segment.