With the original iPad and the iPad 2 released in April 2010 and 2011 respectively, there has always been an assumed April 2012 launch for the iPad 3, but without anything more solid to go by than prior release time-frames and some screen rumours, it's been loose speculation across the board thus far.
If the latest reports from DigiTimes are anything to go by, it looks like we can finally be a little safer in our assumptions. Suggesting that the next generation iPad is due in 3-4 months, DigiTimes supply chain source indicates that while production of iPad 2 parts is on the slow down, iPad 3 production is being ramped up in a big way. Starting in the new year, OEM production of the iPad 2 will drop from 14-15 million in Q4 2011 to 4-5 million in Q1 2012. As for iPad 3 numbers, estimates for Q1 2012 are at between 4-5 million units, with mass production expected to commence in February.
Thankfully therefore, it looks like there are just months to go before we see a shiny new slate from Apple and with rumours of "Retina Displays" and "A6 quad-core processors" flying left right and centre, it can't land soon enough.