Take this one with a 9.7-inch grain of salt, but Focus Taiwan is reporting that current Asian supply chains suggest that Apple might be trying to get the iPad 3 out on February 24th, Steve Jobs's birthday.
After the iPhone 4S successfully took the tech market by storm, the iPad3 is widely expected to be Apple’s first hit product to be released next year. Industry sources said the first shipment of the iPad3 could exceed 4 million units. Because it is a new gadget, it is taking time for makers in the supply chain to raise their yield rates. The sources said all OEM and ODM makers have exercised great caution in ensuring the smooth operations of their production lines.
A late February launch would likely mean an early February event to show off the new hardware (and new 5.1 or 5.2 version of iOS to go with it?). If you aren't as skeptical as we are on this one, you probably should be. Supply chain rumors are often more miss than hit, and you'll probably have just as much luck pegging the iPad 3 release date by flipping a coin.