Apple may launch an updated version of the iPad 3 (officially called The New iPad) at the Apple press event on October 23, but a Newer iPad (or iPad 4) isn't expected until mid 2013, and, according to supply chain sources will merely feature a "simpler manufacturing design".
As for the likely launch date for a The Newer iPad - which we will refer to as the iPad 4 to avoid confusion (see what you have done Apple!) - reports are claiming that Apple has told suppliers that they will be launching a next generation iPad in the middle of 2013.
According to DigiTimes, the next iPad will feature a "simpler manufacturing design" and the number of LED chips used in backlighting for the iPad will be reduced in the next model.
This news comes days after Apple was sued for its LED lighting in the New iPad (aka iPad 3) and MacBook Pro. According to Patently Apple, LED Tech has named Apple in a patent infringement suit. The company claims that Apple's products infringe on its patents for "apparatus of controlling and powering a solid-state light source such as a light-emitting diode or LED, for a portable battery-powered flashlight."
A separate DigiTimes report suggests that Apple's supply chain wants to charge the company more. According to DigiTimes sources, Foxconn and other partners have: "Demanded the brand vendor accept a price rise, as their labour costs in China have been rising".
According to that report, Apple has: "Placed strong pressures upon the upstream supply chain players' profits and caused the related players to demand higher prices for their components."