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iPad 3 Release Date: 'iPad Mini' to be Released Before iPad 3 Launch?

Rumors believe that Apple will launch a new iPad in March 2012, however, it is unclear whether the release will be an updated version of the iPad 2, or a next generation tablet, the iPad 3.

The DigiTimes technology website has said its sources have indicated that Apple may release just an iPad 2 update during the fourth quarter of 2011 that extends through March of next year.

If those rumors prove to be true, an updated iPad 2 would be a thinner model than the currently available version on the market, and would also boast a longer battery life.

Sources in Japan have indicated that manufacturers in Asia are currently busy preparing mass production for a release in time for the Lunar New Year, which takes place from Jan. 22 to Jan. 28. Those sources indicate that the updated iPads would be available by the end of January 2012.

Other rumors suggest that Apple is to release a lower range iPad, which will be more of a competitor with the recently unveiled Amazon Kindle Fire, which is scheduled to hit high streets on Nov. 15.

Ticonderoga Securities Analyst Brian White said, “Our research is pointing to the unveiling of a lower priced iPad in the first few months of 2012 that is aimed at expanding the company’s market potential by tapping into a more price sensitive consumer segment.”

White believes that the iPad 3 will not be released till later, after next year’s so called “iPad Mini.”

“We believe this lower priced iPad could be priced in the mid-to-high-$200 range,” White said. “We expect this will be followed by a much more powerful, feature rich standard-priced iPad 3 in 2Q12.”

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