There have been numerous reports that Apple will release a third generation IPAD this year and plenty of discusson on what the specifications might be. If a recent report in the Wall street Journal is to be believed, then the screen will be a similar retina display to that currently on the Iphone 4 and the latest generation IPod touch, with a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels compared with the current 1024 x 768. The screen size will probably remain the same, therefore you would assume that the processor will need to be more efficient to handle the extra power required for pixel processing, without losing anything on battery life and screen brightness. According to soources parts for the new device have been ordered from Asia for testing - with a view to releasing the device in early 2012 which would fit in with the 1st quarter launches of the previous versions.
By next year, the display on the IPAD will start look tired and, compared with that of the IPhone 4, in certain areas it is already beginning to look dated. The ability to read pages without zooming in and out would certainly improve the device's use as replacement for books and magazines etc.;, although Kindle - and now the Barnes and Noble nook - seems to have the digital book reader market well covered.
The competition in the tablet market grows by the day and it's highly likely that the Apple IPAD 3 will have much stronger competition when it eventually surfaces. Amazon are rumoured to be releasing a 9" tablet device in October running Android, although not confirmed by Amazon. How they target this device will probably depend on the continued success of the Kindle, of which a new touchscreen version is reportedly being released at the end of the year.
Expect much improved devices from Samsung, Dell, Sony - and especially offerings from Google, following the aquisition earlier this month of Motorola mobility and the 17,000 patents it holds. An interesting development, which may well have been one of the factors behind Hewlett Packards decision to kill off their WebOS tablets. HP WebOS is, however, highly regarded as a tablet OS and it's possible that if Hewlett Packard can find the right buyer, another challenger may appear in the tablet market in 2012.