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Apple iPad 3: Launching in February, March, or later?

January 17, 2012 |  4:01 pm
Apple iPad 2

Apple rumors -- they seem to work readers, writers and editors up into a frenzy producing an echo of reports around the Internet. These blips of salacious speculation seem to spawn anew multiple times each week and, from time to time, they also fail to line up with one another, instead butting heads in contradiction.

The latest example of such conflicting rumors is the recent reports published on the pending release of what the tech media has dubbed the "iPad 3," Apple's eventual follow-up tablet to the hugely successful iPad 2 of 2011 and first-generation iPad released in 2010.

Late last week, as many tech reporters were hustling to keep up with wacky gadgets and the evolutionary advancement of TVs, smartphones and tablets at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Bloomberg News reported that Apple's next iPad would go on sale in March with 4G LTE connectivity (the first two iPads have Wi-Fi or 3G), a faster processor and a higher resolution touch screen.

Bloomberg didn't mention when it believed Apple would unveil the iPad 3, in its report, which cited three anonymous sources that reportedly have knowledge of Apple's plans.

Aside from the March-debut nugget of information, the rumored iPad 3 specs have been reported and re-reported countless times since Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad 2 on March 2, 2011, ahead of the tablet hitting U.S. stores on March 11, 2011.

On Tuesday, the Japanese website Mackotakara reported that the unveiling of a so-called iPad 3 along with an update to Apple's iOS 5 operating system would take place in February. According to PCMag and Apple Insider, Mackotakara cited an unnamed Asian supplier and an anonymous source in the U.S. for its report.

So, do the Bloomberg and Mackotakara reports line up or contradict? When is the iPad 3 coming -- February or March?

In all likelihood, only Apply really knows when it will launch its next iPad. And Apple, which is known to reschedule its events and product launches up to the last minute, isn't saying. The company never comments on speculation about its product launches.

But it could be that both Mackotakara and Bloomberg are right? Maybe (and yes, I'm speculating here) the iPad 3 will be unveiled in February and go on sale in March?

Apple introduced the original iPad on Jan. 27, 2010, but it didn't go on sale until April 3, 2010.

Complicating matters is the Taiwanese website DigiTimes (which has a reputation for publishing inaccurate tech rumors). The DigiTimes has reported that the iPad 3 would be released sometime this month -- but the site has also said its unnamed sources have also said the iPad 3 may arrive in March or April.

Well, here's one thing you can count on: Whenever Apple's next iPad is released, the Technology blog (and the much of the tech reporting world) will have plenty of coverage of the eagerly anticipated new tablet.

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Twitter.com/nateog

Photo: The Apple iPad 2. Credit: Nathan Olivarez-Giles / Los Angeles Times

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