Take this one with a 9.7-inch grain of salt, but according to Citi analyst Richard Gardner, Apple has overcome all technical hurdles and will be releasing the iPad 3 in February sporting a full 2048×1536 Retina display.
According to "several sources" the next iPad will launch in February, and it will sport a screen with double the resolution of the current model. Gardner says, "there do not appear to be any significant technical hurdles remaining" to prevent a launch of a high-resolution iPad, despite rumors to the contrary.
TiPb previously heard Apple had considered moving iPad 3 up to a fall 2011 release but due to scale issues with the Retina display had moved it back to a spring 2012 slot.
Bearing in mind analysts are often only as reliable as flipping a coin, this shouldn't dissuade anyone who wants a current generation iPad 2 for the holidays from getting an iPad 2 for the holidays. If you can hold out, however, the original iPad was released in April 2010, and the iPad 2 hit in March of this year, so the cycle could well continue. (Or Apple could move iPad 3 to the June slot, keeping iPhone in its new fall position -- there's simply no way to know until Apple makes the announcement.)