WSJ: iPad 3 coming in early 2012 with 2048x1536 display

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is well on its way to trial production of the next-generation iPad, which could start in October. The report says Apple has already ordered many of the core components for the new tablet, and it then drops this little bomblet:

The next generation iPad is expected to feature a high resolution display - 2048 by 1536 compared with 1024 by 768 in the iPad 2 - and Apple's suppliers have already shipped small quantities of components for the sampling of the iPad 3. Suppliers said Apple has placed orders for a 9.7-inch screen device.

A higher-res version of the iPad has long been rumored, but this may be the clearest indicator yet that such a device is imminent.

The WSJ report cites a component supplier who says Apple "has already placed orders for parts for about 1.5 million iPad 3s in the fourth quarter." Although production efforts may start soon, the product's official launch isn't expected until "early 2012."

Wow. That's soon enough that I may skip those $99 TouchPads and just save up for the next big thing.

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