Apple has yet to acknowledge that the iPad 3 exists, let alone reveal any of the new tablet's features, but with the rumour mills operating at full capacity International Business Times UK takes another look into its crystal ball.

The Screen
The iPhone 4 was the first device to feature a super-high resolution retina display, offering a pixel density greater than that of a high-quality glossy magazine. By comparison, the iPad 2 - which uses the same screen as the 2010 original - looks far less sharp.

Highly regarded Apple site MacRumors claims to have its hands on the screen of an iPad 3 and, after looking at it under a microscope, can confirm that it will support an iPad 2-doubling resolution of 2048 x 1536.

iPad screen
Credit: MacRumors

The tech blog and forum said: "When comparing the iPad 3 display to one from an iPad 2 under a microscope, the difference in resolutions becomes readily apparent, with the iPad 3 display's pixels appearing to be one-quarter the size of those on the iPad 2."

There may be a downside, however, as multiple reports claim that the retina screen will increase the overall thickness compared to the iPad 2.

Finally, 9to5Mac has published what it claims to be photographs taken inside Apple's production plant; specifically, of where the retina displays are built and stored, before being taken to the next stage of the production line.

The blurry photographs are difficult to verify but they have been posted with a back story claiming that the screens are manufactured by Samsung - despite multiple legal disputes between the two companies.

The iPad has featured a newer, more powerful processor each year and we don't expect 2012 to be any different, which means the iPad 3 will probably get a shiny new A6 processor. It's not yet clear if the new chip will be dual-core like the A5 or quad-core, but obviously the latter would bring a substantial boost in performance.

The iPad 2 brought a radically streamlined design update, shaving considerable bulk from the original iPad's slightly chunky form. Despite talk last year of a curved glass screen, we believe that the iPad 3 will be very similar in design to the current generation iPad 2, with the upgraded screen and processor making the headlines.

Daily Apple of Taiwan claims to have photographs of the iPad 3's rear case, showing a larger camera lens and a more tapered design.

The publication believes that an eight-megapixel camera will be used - presumably the same Sony item featured on the iPhone 4S.

This would represent a marked improvement on the iPad 2, which makes do with a VGA-quality front camera for video calls and the rear camera isn't much better.

iPad 3 camera
Credit: Apple Daily

Release Date and Price

Speculation of the iPad 3 release date has not proved accurate; first it was January, then definitely February and now 7 March is supposedly when the big announcement will happen.

This would be almost exactly one year after the iPad 2 was launched and the third generation tablet would be expected to go on sale internationally around a week later.

With regard to price, Apple rarely increases its prices - especially with the iOS range - so we can safely assume that the iPad 3 will cost the same as the iPad, therefore starting at £399 in the UK.