When Apple announced the iPhone 4S in October of this year, many were disappointed that the phone was just a follow-on to the iPhone 4 and not a completely new device. Apple has done this before, with the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 3GS, and it looks like this trend of releasing an updated version of last year's device is spreading to other Apple products.
According to a report in Digitimes, while Apple's newest iPad will hit the market in March of next year, this won't be the 'real' iPad 3. Instead, the iPad we see early in 2012 will be an updated iPad 2. The website cites supply chain sources that say the 'real' iPad 3 won't be launched until the third quarter of 2012, at the earliest.
It wouldn't be at all surprising if this turns out to be true, after all, it wouldn't be the first time Apple has put off a full upgrade in favor of minor upgrades to last year's model. Add to that the fact that the iPad 2 was already a pretty major upgrade from the iPad 1, including a whole new design, and it seems pretty likely. According to the Digitimes report, the iPad 2 upgrade will have a longer battery life and a slightly slimmer design.