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New iPad with retina display coming out early 2012?

If you thought the iPad 2 looks good, then Apple again plans to blow your socks off with the hi-res retina display of its next gen iPad 3, if what the Wall Street Journal reports comes to pass.

It wouldn't be surprising if that happens, given Apple's history of wowing its followers, then giving them something else to lust over soon after, an inexhaustible schedule of want that rivals any vampire-like hunger. 

Using sources "familiar with" component suppliers and its assembler in Asia, the Journal's Lorraine Lukreports from Taipei that "the company has ordered key components such as display panels and chips for a new iPad it is aiming to launch in early 2012."

This iPad would pack an even bigger visual wallop than its predecessor, the current iPad 2, with a 2048 by 1536 hi-res display (compared with the iPad 2's 1024 by 768). 

While none of the official spokespeople from the companies that produce the parts that make the new iPad were willing to comment on the record, Luk's sources told her Apple had already placed orders for about 1.5 million iPad 3s in the fourth quarter. Taipei is the place to be when it comes to iPad rumors, as it's the hub of manufacturers tied to Apple, which also has iPad manufacturing through the controversial Foxconnin China (though that too is an extension of Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision, as well as being China's largest contract manufacturer). Foxconn's plant suffered a blow this spring with an explosion in May that killed three workers.

As of early August, an estimated 29 million iPads have been soldsince the tablet went on sale in April 2010, which will give the tab a robust 61 percent of the market by the end of the year. Despite Android tabs popping out like Tribbles, Apple's signature device still commands this particular segment of the wireless world, and with a next gen in the works, will try to continue that reign.

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