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Apple iPad 3 rumor: debut in 3-4 months

Here’s a tidbit that should surprise no one: Anonymous sources in Asia are telling DigiTimes that Apple’s next-generation iPad — let’s just call it the iPad 3, for simplicity’s sake — will begin shipping in three to four months. That means a launch in March or April.

Unless Apple pulls another iPhone 4S with the iPad 3, and releases it far outside the debut date of its previous models, then March or April would seem the most likely time for the new iPad to arrive. The original iPad, though it was unveiled in January of 2010, started shipping in the US in April. The iPad 2 came out in March 2011. Seeing as Apple usually sticks to a fairly regular release schedule for its products, March or April is right on point. It is possible, however, that we’ll see the new iPad a bit earlier, in February.

That also means this rumor really isn’t that interesting. Basically all it’s saying is, “There’s a new iPad coming out soon!” Which, of course, is obvious — there presumably will be a new iPad coming out for years to come. But what will the iPad 3 (or whatever it’s called) look like?

According to earlier rumors, the device will have a Retina display with double the resolution of the current iPad, meaning something around 2048×1536. The super-resolution display rumor is one we heard just as often with the iPad 2, and that one of course never turned into a reality. So this year, we should all remain at least a bit skeptical, until some hard evidence comes out.

Other rumored features include a faster A6 processor  — or some non-Samsung-made equivalent — that can compete with the robust Tegra 3 quad-core processor that appears in the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet, the first to do so.

Details aside, it’s obvious that a new iPad is in the pipeline, so if you’re thinking about getting a new tablet, you might want to wait until March or April to make your choice.