Rumor: iPad 3 coming in early 2012?

Apple's best selling iPad tablet has already taken out one big competitor, as HP announced earlier this week it was dumping its new HP TouchPad device. Now The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is now working with its various parts suppliers to ramp up production of the third version of the iPad. According to the article, Apple is now looking to launch the iPad 3 sometime in early 2012.

The next iPad is expected to have a much higher resolution display than the current version of the tablet. While the iPad 2 has a resolution of just 1024 by 768, the story claims that the iPad 3 is aiming for a 2048 by 1536 resolution. The iPad 3 will reportedly keep the 9.7 inch screen, which has been the size of the previous two tablets. Other rumors that have appeared on the net in the pace suggest the next iPad will have a quad-core processor versus the dual-core that's in the the current iPad 2. One source said that Apple is planning to order parts that will be used to produce up to 1.5 million iPad 3 tablets in the fourth quarter ahead of the early 2012 launch.

Just a few weeks ago, there were lots of rumors that Apple might surprise the industry and launch the next version of the iPad 3 by the end of 2011. However, a report from Digitimes a few days ago put those rumors to rest, claiming that Apple was unable to get enough of the higher resolution screens from its suppliers.

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