Expected iPad 2 orders see Apple signing up with Chimei -

Apple is basically keeping the touchscreen panel market afloat.

In anticipation of huge demand for the next generation iPad, the company has secured two additional touch panel makers, Chimei Innolux and Cando, who will join Wintek, Sintek Photronics and TPK Touch Solutions.

According to a report at DodgyTimes, Apple's orders for the iPad 2 are expected to top six million units a month, a huge step up from the four million units a quarter that the current iPad demands.

However, those holding out for the anticipated seven inch iPad shouldn't get their hopes up. Sources close to manufacturers in Taiwan say they haven't heard a peep.

Chimei and Cando will begin manufacturing touch-panel orders from Apple in January or February.

Many are already hoping that Apple incorporates new features into the second-generation iPad such as external storage as well as front- and rear-facing cameras. Touch panel demand is a certainty.