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iPad 3 coming March, with smaller connector

Rumours say the iPad 3 is coming March 2012, with a smaller dock connector that means it won't work with existing docks and cables. Blast.

The good news? The iPad 3 will be here in five months, according to Japanese blog Macotakara, reports CNET. The bad? It'll have a smaller dock connector, rendering all existing speakers docks, cases, cables, and pretty much every accessory useless.

The blog cites a "reliable Asian source" on the matter. Despite the smaller connector it dispels rumours of an iPad mini incoming -- proving a smaller port doesn't necessarily mean a smaller device. 

The iPad 3 is being rushed into production to avoid Chinese New Year celebrations from 22-28 January, according to the source. So before the end of January we should be seeing Chinese factories churning out devices, if the source is correct. Should help us get over the post-CES blues nicely too.

And that redesigned dock? Well it'll feature the same number of pins as the original, but a smaller shape than on the current iPad, according to the source. Hence it won't be compatible with existing iPad docks and accessories, unless Apple outs an adapter. The source says the screen will stay the same size as the iPad 2, though we can dream of an iPad mini.

They didn't know if Apple would up it to retina display levels or stay with the current 1,024x768-pixel resolution. Previous rumours said the iPad 3 would ship with a 2,048x1,536-pixel resolution screen, which would be a whopping four times the iPad 2's. The retina display is already in place on the iPhone 4 and 4S, and fourth-gen iPod Touch.

March is looking a likely release date though, coming almost exactly a year after the iPad 2. It also squares with what we've heard already. Check out our full rumour round-up for everything so far.

How would you react if Apple introduced a smaller dock connector for the iPad 3? Put your foot through your iPad 2 and send Apple the bill? Let us know on our Facebook page.