iPad 3 could have AMOLED or Full HD display but 2011 release is unlikely

Apple is looking to bump up the specs for the iPad 3's screen, according to component suppliers. But they say the product is still at the 'initial planning stage', so will not go on sale in 2011.

The iPad 3 may have a higher-resolution screen than the iPad 2, but may not make its debut until 2012. That's according to component suppliers, who've apparently gabbled to DigiTimes.

DigiTimes published its story in response to recent rumours that Apple will spring the iPad 3 on the world this autumn, to ensure it stays ahead of its tablet rivals. A hi-res screen, like the retina display on the iPhone 4, has been tipped as one of the key features of the next-gen device.

As DigiTimes puts it: "Sources from touch-panel makers pointed out that Apple recently released its latest tablet PC plan and is asking the panel makers to provide products that are capable [of supporting] higher image quality than the current iPad 2, and Apple may even choose [an] AMOLED panel or [a] panel that supports [the] Full HD standard to accomplish the plan. However, since the project is still at the initial planning stage, the actual products are unlikely to appear in 2011."

DigiTimes also speculates further about those display specs, pointing out that the main supplier of AMOLED technology is Samsung, which is ramping up its own tablet production this year, in an attempt to take on the iPad. Using an AMOLED screen on the iPad 3 could leave Apple at risk of component shortages.

DigiTimes' sources stressed that Apple hasn't yet placed any orders with them for parts for an iPad 3, making its release in 2011 even more unlikely. That's good news for anyone who's just splashed out on an iPad 2, at least.