Obviously the prediction from Taiwanese newspaper, Economics Daily, that the iPad 3 would be released in the fourth quarter of this year was wrong. But since that suggestion, rumours have been flying around about when the iPad 3 will be available and when the world will know more. Our stories related to the prospect of an iPad 3 have been some of the most read this year.

Of course, the first thing everyone wants to know is how will the iPad 3 differ from the iPad 2 which was released in the spring? During June, everyone was guessing, with the iPad 3 screen seeming to be the most popular concern. Since 3D technology has become a part of everyday life, with film, televisions and 3D gaming available, it seemed possible that Apple would jump on the 3D bandwagon but lead the way, by giving the iPad 3 a 3D screen and making it the first tablet to have one. Another theory was that the next iPad will have an AMOLED screen built by Samsung. However, due to the legal opposition between Apple and Samsung, as well as the possibility of Samsung using AMOLED for its own Galaxy tablets, it is easy to appreciate why this is currently a rather grey area.

Apple consistently seems to be making everything it produces smaller, lighter or thinner; so ideas that an iPad mini may be the next development, aren't exactly far fetched. However, earlier in the year, the late Apple Chairman, Steve Jobs, proclaimed an unsurprising dislike for the Samsung Galaxy tablets, and more specifically their smaller 7in screens, so following his comment, it is questionable as to whether Apple would downsize.

A more puzzling prediction is that Apple will be making the iPad 3's dock connecter smaller, (which agrees with the idea of a smaller iPad) but then previous iPad owners accessories and existing docks will be wasted money if Apple invests in the new model. Of course, an adapter is always an option though.

Finally, the most recent development is that the iPad 3 might be thicker. Only by an unnoticeable 0.7mm though. This is due to the fact that according to Digitimes, sources in Apple's supply chain claim that for the new iPad's screen to be able to have a higher resolution, Apple will need to include dual-light bars in the design.

If you are truly desperate for a release date for the iPad 3, the most accurate guess going is March 2012, with production beginning in January before Chinese New Year which begins on the 22 January.