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Thursday, February 09, 2012, 01:47 pm PT (04:47 pm ET)

Apple employee says upcoming iPad 3 to have "truly amazing" screen

According to a source described as "an Apple employee," the next iPad will be released at an event in early March, with a faster processor and an improved, "truly amazing" display.

Apple's plans to release a third generation iPad within the next few weeks have been broadly anticipated, although the report, published by the New York Times, notes that its "unclear" if the next iPad will be named iPad 3.

It drew a parallel between the expectation of an "iPhone 5" last fall, resulting in some disappointment among observers when Apple named the latest product iPhone 4S instead. The "early grumbling" about its name and features set "did not stop the iPhone 4S from helping Apple post record holiday sales," the site observed.

Aside from a faster processor and a "truly amazing" screen, the report said that the next generation iPad being tested inside Apple is "essentially the same size and shape as iPad2."

Since the launch of iPad in 2010, Apple has sold over 55 million of the tablets, which resulted in Apple becoming the world's largest producer of computers by the end of 2011.

A variety of efforts to duplicate Apple's success with iPad have failed, ranging from Microsoft's decade long Tablet PC, its 2006 Origami / UMPC project lead by Samsung, its 2010 Windows 7 Slate PC it partnered with HP to launch, HP's own Palm webOS based tablet last year alongside RIM's PlayBook and Google's Android 3.0 Honeycomb disaster, as well as third party attempts to turn Android 2.x smartphones into tablet-like devices.