Apple Will Announce The iPad 3 In Early February [Rumor]

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The iPad 3 is widely anticipated to hit store shelves in March, about a year from the date that the iPad 2 first debuted. Apple’s next-gen tabled it expected to pack a 2048 x 1536 Retina Display, an A6 SoC and (possibly) 4G LTE support. Now a new report suggests that we’re just a few short weeks away from getting our first look at the iPad 3.

According to a report from Japanese blog Macotakara, the iPad 3 launch event will take place in early February, citing sources in the U.S. and Asian supply chains saying the iPad 3 will go on sale in early March.

Last year, Apple announced the iPad 2 in early March, putting it on sale roughly a week and a half later. Why would Apple need a longer announcement window this time?

Simple. Because Apple’s jumping the resolution of the iPad 3 to Retina Display quality, Apple wants to give developers enough time to make their existing iPad apps compatible with the iPad 3 so there’s a library of Retina Display apps available at launch.

When the iPad 3 goes on sale in early March, it is also anticipated that the iPad 2 will undergo a price cut, similar to the price cuts Apple makes with the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS, in order to compete with less expensive tablets like the Kindle Fire.