At the moment, this is still very much to be considered a rumor, but evidence is mounting that a new iPad is on the way sooner than anyone originally thought. PC World is reporting on a story by the Taiwanese newspaper, Digitimes- the same newspaper that was the first to suggest that Apple was making a tablet, and not a netbook as most others thought, long before the iPad came out. Digitmes last week printed a story claiming that a 7-inch iPad was on the way this year.
A second report from the Taiwanese newspaper, The Economic Daily, is citing several manufacturers that are claiming to have won contracts with Apple to make components for the next iPad. Of those claiming contracts, one is Chimei Innolux, who The Economic Daily claims will be making 7-inch LCD screens to nearly the same specs as the original iPad.
There has not been any confirmation yet, nor is there likely to be any. Manufacturers that take contracts such as they run the risk of losing them, or possibly losing other business if they reveal what they are working on and break the secrecy.
So for now, this is just a rumor, albeit an interesting one.