Apple's iPad 3 will be released in early 2012, just missing the 2011 holiday shopping season, according to a report this morning in the Wall Street Journal. The reason – alleged problems with display screens, forcing Apple to switch suppliers on the fly. It has been rumored for a while that the iPad 3's screen (with a resolution of 2048 X 1536 pixels) would be pushing the current limits for touch screens and difficult to rapidly produce in large numbers, and it seems that this is indeed the case.
Many rumors have been swirling about Apple's products in the past few years, but the Wall Street Journal has a particularly good track record of getting their stories correct. The WSJ correctly predicted a partnership with mobile carrier Verizon and Apple, and also correctly reported several features of the iPad2 before launch. Therefore, I would view this latest WSJ report with more validity than others.
While Apple is likely somewhat disappointed that their newest version of the iPad won't be available to consumers for the 2011 holiday shopping season, Apple's brand is so strong that consumers will purchase their products no matter their release date. Apple proved this when they launched the original version of the iPad in April of all months.