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iPad 3 Release date delayed to early 2012 ?

iPad 3 Release date delayed to early 2012Apple’s iPad 3 will be released in early 2012, just missing the 2011 holiday shopping season, according to a report this morning in the Wall Street Journal. Apple is currently working with suppliers to begin a trial production of its next-gen tablet device, the iPad 3. The trial production is apparently set for October, which would mean an early 2012 release date for the finished product. The WSJ cites “people familiar with the situation” who say that the Cupertino company has “ordered key components such as display panels and chips.”

Anyway, the exciting news is that it looks as though we will get our Retina Display iPad at last, with Apple reportedly testing suppliers’ current shipments of 2048 x 1536 resolution 9.7-inch displays. According to The Los Angeles Times, the iPad 3 “retina display” will be similar to the iPhone 4, which shows images at 326 dpi (dots per inch). Any dpi of 300 or greater is said to be so dense that pixels are indistinguishable to the human eye at a distance of 10 to 12 inches.

Apple intends to stay ahead of competitors from Motorola, Samsung and Toshiba — who all use Google’s Android software — by launching its next tablet computer as soon as possible. HP killed its TouchPad on Thursday, just weeks after it was on sale, Forbes reports. Apple may have nothing to worry about, though, as the company reported record sales of 9.3 million iPad units in the fiscal quarter ending June 25, with a net profit of $7.31 billion over the period.

Many rumors have been swirling about Apple’s products in the past few years, but the Wall Street Journal has a particularly good track record of getting their stories correct.  The WSJ correctly predicted a partnership with mobile carrier Verizon and Apple, and also correctly reported several features of the iPad2 before launch.  Therefore, I would view this latest WSJ report with more validity than others.

Of course, iPad 3 rumors have taken a backseat to iPhone 5 rumors these days. The latest rumor sets that release for October 7th with a pre-order period starting September 30th.

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