Rumors set the iPad 3 for an early 2012 launch

In case the title wasn’t clear enough, the following is just rumors based on “sources,” so don’t read too much into it. Yet.

According to “people familiar with the situation,” the Wall Street Journal has learned that Apple is ramping up its development of the iPad 3 from October in order to keep ahead of the competition in the booming tablets market.

In the wake of these news, more rumors as to the specifics of the next iPad have emerged as well. The same sources say it’ll boast a 9.7″ screen which will have a higher resolution (2048 x 1536) than the iPad 2 (1024 x 768). It is said that some components have already been shipped for sampling of the iPad 3, in small numbers so far as compared to the parts that make up for 1.5 million iPad 3s that have been ordered by Apple from one of its suppliers for the fourth quarter.

“Suppliers will ramp up production and try to improve the yield rate for the new iPad in the fourth quarter before its official launch in early 2012,” said a person at the supplier.

Of course, and as would be expected, Apple is keeping mum about the whole situation.