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The iPad 3 Won’t Make it This Year After All, Pushed Back to 2012

As you all know, rumors regarding Apple's upcoming hardware products are going haywire lately. This is especially true for the Cupertino company's next major smartphone release, the iPhone 5. But that's not to say that other Apple products does not get their fair share of rumors. Just a few days ago, we brought to you a report that Apple might be releasing the iPhone 5 later this year, together with the cheaper iPhone variety 4S and the iPad 3. But if this new report that came in is any indication, the iPad 3 won't be hitting the consumer market until next year.

iPad 3 Delayed
The report came from Taiwan-based IT insiders, DigiTimes. According to the report, Apple has recently canceled its iPad 3 supply schedule which is supposed to be released in the 2nd half of 2011 in order to compete with other tablets. The supply volume for the launch of the iPad 3 during the 2nd half of 2011 was originally 1.5 to 2 million units for Q3 and 5 to 6 million for Q4. But now according to the sources inside the Apple's supply chain, the related figures have been already deleted which indicates of course that the supply volume for the iPad 3 has been canceled.

Apple was originally set to launch its iPad 3 in the second half of 2011 with a supply volume of 1.5-2 million units in the third quarter and 5-6 million in the fourth quarter, but Apple's supply chain partners have recently discovered that the related figures have all already been deleted, the sources pointed out.

According to several reports in the past, the iPad 3 is supposed to launch this coming holiday season but now it is highly likely that it will be pushed sometime next year. So what's the reason for the delay? Well the sources claims that the most likely reason is the shortage of Retina Display panels. One of the main focus of the iPad 3 would be the improvement of its display resolution. And just like the iPhone 4, better resolution should be achieved without altering the actual screen size or form factor of the device and without compromising battery life. Apple has marketed this technology as Retina Display which the iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4th gen currently supports.
iPad 3 Retina Display
Because of the iPad's larger screen, manufacturing a Retina Display panel would be understandably more difficult and expensive. Currently, Apple's main supplier of the 9.7-inch panel is the Japanese company Sharp and they do so at a high price. Other supply partners of Apple like Samsung Electronics and LG Display also won't be able to reach a good yield of high resolution display panels. With this condition, Apple won't be able to make it into mass production with relative to the original 2nd half of 2011 launch schedule.

If this report is indeed accurate, then it really is a bad news for those who have been craving for the next generation iPad with higher resolution display. However, order for the iPad 2 seems to be standing strong as it is maintained at 28-30 million units. At best, Apple enthusiasts should be able to get their hands on the iPad 3 early next year which is actually in-line with the iPad release cycle.

Fortunately, this delay of the iPad 3 should in no way affect the release schedule of the iPhone 5 which is largely expected to launch this coming fall. [via DigiTimes]

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