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iPad 3 could launch in March, with connector issues, report says

Apple's next tablet could reach consumers as early as March, and will use a smaller dock connector that could raise compatibility issues.

Will the iPad 2's successor use a different dock connector?
Will the iPad 2's successor use a different dock connector?

The iPad 3 could debut as early as next March, but will come with a smaller dock connector that could cause compatibility issues with existing products, claims Macotakara.

Citing "a reliable Asian source," the Japanese blog site said that the next generation tablet is being rushed into production due to Chinese New Year celebrations running from January 22-28. Factories in China are gearing up to produce the iPad 3 by the end of January.

Assuming Macotakara's source is reliable, the new iPad will also include a redesigned dock connector that features the same number of pins but a smaller shape than the one on the current iPad. As a result, the new connector could pose a problem with existing products that plug into the dock. The tablet's screen will also remain the same size, though the source didn't know if Apple would bump up it up to Retina Display levels or stick with the current resolution.

The report from Macotakara joins a so-far small number of previous iPad 3 rumors. Different sites and sources have debated whether the new iPad would offer a 2,048x1,536 Retina Display. Such a move would give the tablet the same resolution now found on the iPhone 4 and 4S and the iPod Touch 4G.

As for launch timing, March 2012 is probably a safe bet since Apple unveiled the original iPad in April 2010 and the iPad 2 in March 2011. But the Linley Group, a chip consulting firm, believes Apple will outfit the next iPad with an A6 processor, which could potentially push the launch back until next June or later.