Apple will launch the iPad 3 in the fourth quarter of 2011 and it will have a resolution five or six times higher than that of the iPad 2, it has been reported.

Taiwanese newspaper Economics Daily made the claims, which were picked up by Reuters, though few other details about third-generation iPads emerged from the report.

Though the launch date seems rather too soon after that of the iPad 2, previous reports had put a potential launch date for the iPad 3 as early as this September.

However, Apple has only just begun certifying components for the iPad 3, according to recent reports from Taiwanese industry sources, suggesting that September is out the question.

While the iPad 3 rumour mill is still get to start grinding in earnest, many of the early rumours about Apple's next-generation tablet have focused on the display, with some claiming that it could even have 3D screen.

Others have hedged their bets on AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) displays manufactured by Samsung but the reports of a display with a resolution five to six times higher than the iPad 2 seem somewhat fanciful. It isn't, however, the first time it has been suggested.

Meanwhile, the Economics Daily report also claims that new MacBook Airs will begin shipping later this month, with 380,000 units in the first shipment. Apple is expected to announce a refresh to the MacBook Air line very soon.