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iPad 3 “surprise” in September?

We know what you’re thinking, this is getting a bit ridiculous now.

While we’re still waiting for any sort of official line from Apple about iPad 2, which is supposed to already be “in production”, word is now spreading that Apple is preparing another iPad for release in September.

The iPad 3 chatter seems to have come on the back of HP unveiling its first tablet earlier today, the TouchPad

Speaking of HP’s loose US summer release date, Apple enthusiast site Daring Fireball, writes, “Summer feels like a long time away. If my theory is right, they’re not only going to be months behind the iPad 2, but if they slip until late summer, they might bump up against the release of the iPad 3."

Does he know something the rest of us don’t?

Fuelling the burning fires of speculation even further, TechCrunch adds that they’ve heard from “a very good source” that Apple is assembling the pieces for a “big fall surprise”.

The site says that the “surprise” is something more than the regular iPod/iTunes (and perhaps MacBook Air) refreshes that Apple is known for in the autumn.

“We’ve now heard that this ‘fall surprise’ is related to this would-be iPad 3. We don’t have any more concrete information beyond that. But, as of right now, the plan is apparently to release one iteration of the iPad in the next few weeks. And then blow the doors open with another new version in the fall,” TechCrunch writes.

Surly that would make anyone who buys an iPad 2 foam at the mouth. But Apple is never one to play catch-up, especially as other manufacturers' plans for tablet are becoming more real.

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