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The iPad 3 rumors and reports are coming in thick and fast just now, with the latest trying hard to re-ignite the notion that Apple will indeed launch two new tablet devices in this calendar year.

Apparently, the third iPad will launch in March – a full calendar year after the current iPad 2, whilst an iPad 4 will arrive around October. Having got wind of some inside info via Taiwanese component makers, DigiTimes also reckon Apple’s third tablet installment will feature a that crisp Retina display we’ve been holding a vigil for, whilst the fourth iPad will be more of a significant improvement – launching in October with, and I quote, "killer applications."

What on earth ‘killer applications’ are, we’ll leave to your imaginations. Given Apple’s past release patterns, it would seem somewhat unlikely the fruit company would release two new tablets scarcely six months apart, although DigiTimes suggests the iPad 4 is releasing so soon thereafter to fend off a possible Google-branded tablet as well as any devices running Microsoft’s keenly-anticipated Windows 8. Reports to the contrary – a notion to which our better judgment forces us to subscribe, cast the iPad 4 rumors off as "completely made-up nonsense."

Daring Fireball’s John Gruber really went to town on the Digitimes report: "Wait a minute. What’s going on here?" he responded, "A DigiTimes report about Apple and the iPad that’s completely accurate? No completely made-up nonsense? Is something wrong with me?"

As much of a stitch Gruber is, it’s actually rather disappointing to see the likes of DigiTimes producing reports so overtly unrealistic. The trend of citing “sources familar” has certainly increased during the post-iPhone era, and although some find rather interesting scoops often bearing fruit, it does seem as though it’s being used as a cover for certain sites to produce whatever they like.

iPad display

Gruber reckons if Apple were to release to new iPads, one would be an entry-level model sporting the 1024-by 768-pixel screen seen in the current iPad 2, whilst the high-end model would have the Retina display

Until something a little more concrete arises, we’ll go with the more likely eventuality of a new iPad 3 in March, leaving the $399 iPad 2 to play the role of noble steed – as we reported earlier.

Thoughts?

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