Consumers can expect the iPad 3 to be released as early as March 2012, CNET reports, via Japanese website, Macotakara.
A "reliable Asian source" has detailed to Macotakara that the iPad 3 is being put into production early due to the Chinese New Year running from January 22-28.
According to the source, Chinese factories are aiming to have the first iPad 3's ready by the end of January.
Macotakara's source, whom is one of the few divulging information about the iPad 3, suggests that the tablet should be thinner than the current iPad 2. However, that could also mean that it may not be compatible with previous iPad docks and keyboards.
The screen size of the iPad 3 is expected to remain the same as that of the iPad 2, but the new iPad may feature a 2048 x 1536 resolution that is four times higher than the resolution of the iPad 2.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that Apple recently ordered 1.5 million screens, intended for the next iPad.
Some sources suggest that the iPad 3 will have a quad-core processor. Though this rumor has not been confirmed, some also suggest that the iPad 3 and proposed iPhone 5 will have updated versions of the current A5 processor, which is currently used in the iPad 2.
Recent reports indicate that Apple and Samsung are currently working together to create an A6 quad-core processor.
Apple is known for releasing its various products during specific times of the year. While iPhones usually release in the summer and iPods usually release in the fall, iPads are generally known for their spring release date.
CNET notes that the iPad is expected to be released next year on March 11.