iPad 3 to Possibly Launch in Early 2012

While it has been previously reported that the iPad 3 could be launching this October, new evidence suggest a release in early 2012.

The evidence comes largely from Apple's interactions with suppliers: the company has been noted as having set delivery dates for the components of the new iPad and has begun to place orders for 1.5 million iPad 3s to be produced in the fourth quarter of 2011.

One of the big points is related to the iPad 3's new hi-res display, which is rumored to have been upgraded to 2048x1536 from the previous iPad's 1024x768. Evidence of this higher resolution was found three months ago hidden within iOS 5, indicating that Apple intends to increase the iPad's resolution. Suppliers have already mentioned that Apple has placed orders for a 9.7-inch device, and that they have already shipped small quantities for the sampling of the iPad 3.

WIth Apple sitting pretty at the top of the technology heap, it's no surprise that the iPad 3 may not be too far away. In the fiscal third quarter alone Apple sold 9.3 million iPads, nearly triple the sales from a year earlier. Together with iPhone sales and Apple's other devices, the company has become the most valuable in the world, and is sure to continue its near-yearly device release cycle.