Don't put an iPad 2 on your holiday wish list just yet, because a new rumor suggests that Apple will release an iPad 3 in the fourth quarter.
Apple's next iPad will have an image resolution five to six times higher than the iPad 2, according to Reuters. The rumor comes from Taiwan's Economic Daily, which in turn cites unnamed industry sources. This month, Asian research firm CSLA said that an iPad 3 will launch by Christmas.
Economic Daily's report also says that Apple will sell a new MacBook Air this month, with 380,000 units as its first shipment. This echoes earlier reports of a MacBook Air refresh that said the ultrathin laptops would include Intel's Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt connections.
Given that two very similar rumors recently appeared in other publications, it's possible that the Economic Daily's industry sources are the same ones who fueled the earlier reports. In other words, rumors are spawning more rumors.
It does seem likely that Apple will release a MacBook Air refresh soon, given the number of sources reporting this rumor and the occasional MacBook Air discount at retailers such as Best Buy. If you're considering a MacBook Air and must have the latest technology, you might want to wait and see what happens in a couple of weeks.
The iPad 3 rumor, however, stands on shakier ground. It's possible that Apple will release a high-resolution iPad alongside the existing generation, rather than replace the iPad 2 outright, as John Gruber, a well-connected Apple blogger, speculated last February. But really, there's not enough solid information available, and pinning down exactly what Apple is going to do in six months is tricky. Eventually, all iPad rumors jump the shark, but we're not there yet.