According to Japanese Apple blog Macotakara, Foxconn Electronics and Pegatron Technology have begun the long process of churning out the fruit company’s next-gen tablet, unofficially dubbed the iPad 3.

Further reports suggest Sharp will be producing the Retina display, set to take the reading of newspapers, books (and quite possibly textbooks) to a whole new level. After the significant improvements brought forth with the Retina-boasting iPhone 4, many expected the current iPad 2 – released in March of last year – to also enjoy the crisp display, but it wasn’t to be.

Until recently, Samsung – the world’s foremost LCD producer along with LG – was the main supplier of iPad screens. As we know though, relations between the two have soured greatly during the last 12 months, with both keen to cut ties as the back-and-forth lawsuit debacle descends into all-out war.

It’s worth pointing out that Macotakara has been pretty accurate with its forecasts in the past, and its Chinese sources have apparently confirmed both Foxconn and Pegatron have received orders from Apple with view to an early March release.

Much like the screen situation, Foxconn has carried the burden for assembling Apple products over the last few years – managing to squeeze small profit whilst Apple draws in billions. The tables have turned now though, with robotic-sounding Pegatron said to be piecing together 85% of the new devices, whilst Foxconn will only produce 15%. An explosion in May of last year at Foxconn’s factory, which left two people dead and 16 hurt, is thought to have been a contributing factor.

Tying in with previous reports, the new device will look almost identical to the iPad 2, be one millimeter thicker, and of course boast the 2048 x 1536 display courtesy of new supplier Sharp. As we reported yesterday, the design is not set to change, with all cosmetic tweaks beset by new hardware.

Accompanying the sharp new display (no pun intended), will be a brand new rear-facing camera – thought to be taken from the iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S. Consequently, the front camera is also likely set for a re-vamp, possibly bringing FaceTime HD to the tablet scene.

You can follow us on Twitter, add us to your circle on Google+ or like our Facebook page to keep yourself updated on all the latest from Microsoft, Google, Apple and the web.

Related Stories