iPad 3 expected launch in Feb 2012

Apple is reportedly planning to launch a next-generation iPad, called an iPad 3, as early as February 2012.

According to report by Business Insider and PCMag, Citi analyst Richard Gardner revealed that the device would be similar to the iPad 2, but includes Apple’s high-resolution retina display technology found on the iPhone 4 andiPhone 4S by doubling the iPad 3’s screen resolution.

Gardner reportedly said that “several sources” told him that Apple could launch the iPad 3 in February, which would put its debut ahead of the first two generations of Apple’s tablet.

The first iPad hit stores in April 2010 after being unveiled the month before, and the iPad 2 was unveiled and released in March 2011, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The analyst also said that “there do not appear to be any significant technical hurdles remaining” to prevent the launch of a high-resolution iPad, which contradicts previous reports that fitting such a dense screen into an Apple tablet was one of the reasons Apple iPad 2 maintained the 1024 x 768 resolution of the first iPad.

According to the report, Gardner also estimated that Apple would sell about 12 million to 13 million iPads in the final three months of this year.

The major sales competitor to Apple’s iPad is widely considered the Amazon Kindle Fire in the US, which boasts much lower specs than iPads and Eee Pads.