The Apple rumor mill has spun so far out of control that I'm preparing myself for a complete fanboy meltdown soon. Especially if the latest rumors turn out to be true. Several sources (mostly unreliable) are reporting that the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 won't be available until 2012.
The most realistic sounding report, pertaining to A6 processors, comes from the Taiwan Economic News. The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. is purportedly testing the next-generation processor, and it won't be completed until early 2012. If the TEN is correct, and assuming the iPad 3 will run the A6, this means the iPad 3 won't be available until the middle of 2012.
Other less reliable rumors claim that Apple will release all their next-generation devices in March of 2012. Various sources have reported that Apple will announce a new affordable iPhone in September, and launch the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 in 2012. This is somewhat believable since many believe Apple plans to tap into the mid-range mobile phone market this year. Why not release a cheaper iPhone for the holidays, and draw out the wait for the iPhone 5?
Offering an affordable iPhone for Christmas, and keeping the iPad 2 around will allow people on a budget to join the Apple world. Tech fanatics and Apple fans will buy new devices anytime of the year.
Of course this is mostly speculation from dodgy unnamed sources, but the iPad 3 being released in 2011 never made much sense. The iPad 2 is still selling, and the so-called Android "iPad Killers" haven't really delivered.
So when will the iPad 3 be available? Only Steve Jobs knows for sure, but 2011 doesn't seem likely.