Another rumor confirms iPad 3 shipping in March, says iPad 4 will follow in October

Here’s a follow-up to yesterday’s iPad-related rumor. First off, the probable. DigiTimes has some ‘industry sources’ who claim that the iPad 3 will be shipping around March. That’s in line with what we heard yesterday, it’s in line with Apple’s iPad 2 launch, and it generally seems to be what’s going to happen.

Once again, we find out that the iPad 3 will have a Retina Display (this time the actual resolution is thrown in for good measure – 2048×1536). The new tablet will apparently also feature longer battery life. Its other features will be less than impressive, though – again, this is in line with the most recent rumor, so it’s probably how things will go down.

The iPad 2 will still be sold after the iPad 3 launches, for a base price of $399. We still hope Apple will pull something similar to what it did with the iPhone 4 when the iPhone 4S launched and release an 8 GB iPad 2 for just $299, but it remains to be seen if that will actually happen.

Image via BGR

Even if a $399 iPad won’t do much against Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet and its aggressive $199 pricing, it will do some harm to Android tablet makers, especially those that still like to overprice their products. With this move, Apple will manage to slow Android’s tablet growth a bit.

So far so good. But this is where today’s rumor leaves reality-based contraptions and heads swiftly into absurd territory. See, it claims that Apple will launch a new iPad (let’s call it iPad 4) in October.

Here we go again. So rumor mongers have apparently learned nothing from last year’s iPad 3 debacle. What, you don’t remember that? How the iPad 2 was apparently ‘rushed to market’ in Spring, and how there was going to be a new iPad 3 in Fall 2011?

Yeah, like that happened. So in case you thought that was a good idea for Apple, you probably believe this now. Let’s be clear: there’s absolutely no reason for Apple to launch two tablets in the same year. Not in 2011 and not in 2012. Who knows, maybe the need will arise next year. But up until then? No.

If the iPhone 4S, which, let’s face it, is nothing more than an iPhone 4 with a couple of additions, can break all sales records of all Apple smartphones ever, then clearly people aren’t upset at the pace at which Apple updates its hardware. So they won’t be upset if the iPad 3 ‘only’ comes with a Retina Display (and perhaps better cameras, as rumored yesterday). And they’ll buy the iPad 3 in droves.

Further, today’s ‘report’ claims that the iPad 4 will be launched in the Fall because of pressure from Windows 8 tablets which will launch then. This is ridiculously funny, and I bet someone at Apple is rolling on the floor laughing at it.

When has Apple ever pre-empted competition with a new product release (please limit your soul-searching to mobile devices only)? Never. Why would Apple be afraid of Windows 8 tablets and rush a new iPad to market to ‘fend off’ their threat?

This Fall, Apple will still be the No.1 tablet maker in the world. If Windows 8 really is that good, and sales of tablets running it will be good, then maybe, just maybe expect an ‘answer’ from Apple next year. There’s absolutely no reason to do it any sooner. None at all.

So yes, Apple is clearly already working on the iPad 4 as you read this. But that’s because these mobile devices are being worked on for at least 12 to 18 months before they’re released. And not because Apple will launch it this year.

Author: Vlad Bobleanta

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    I got my pre-ordered iPad on April 3 via UPS. I believe UPS is the only option in the U.S. that Apple is offering (though that could have changed for the iPad 3G).

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