Rumors surrounding the iPad 3 are continuing to appear at an increasing rate, with DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim today claiming that Apple have began production on the iPad 3, which is set to feature a high-definition 2048×1536 display.

“It’s happening–QXGA, 2048×1536. Panel production has started [for the next-generation iPad]. There’s three suppliers,” Richard Shim, an analyst at DisplaySearch, said in an interview today. Shim confirmed other reports that cite three companies, Samsung, Sharp, and LGD.

This latest claim supports earlier reports that Sharp, LG and Samsung are indeed manufacturing the HD displays for the iPad 3. Earlier rumors had pointed towards a thicker design, in addition to the high-res screen, in order to accommodate the new dual-bar lighting system.

Early builds of iOS 5 have also been shown to feature background images exactly 2048×1536 pixels, further supporting the notion of a next-generation iPad on the horizon. Apple is expected to launch the iPad 3 in the Summer of 2012.