If you thought that you had a big enough dilemma deciding on whether to splash out on the (soon-to-be-arriving-we-think) iPad 2, or whether to wait until HP's newly announced TouchPad lands later this year, then you probably don't want to hear about rumours suggesting that a third-generation iPad will arrive around September 2011.
A couple of Stateside tech blogging stalwarts - John Gruber of Daring Fireball and MG Siegler of Tech Crunch - have stated that the iPad 3 (for want of a better name) will be a surprise launch from the Cupertino giant later this year, just months after the (not-yet-even-official) iPad 2 hits Apple Stores.
Gruber kicked off the speculation with a prediction that:
"Summer feels like a long time away. If my theory is right, they’re not only going to be months behind the iPad 2, but if they slip until late summer, they might bump up against the release of the iPad 3."
He's since clarified this as a personal theory, but Siegler's report in Tech Crunch states that it could prove accurate.
"A few days ago, we heard from a very good source that Apple was assembling the pieces for a 'big fall surprise'," he wrote. "While intriguing, that could obviously mean anything. But the 'surprise' part clearly means it’s something beyond the regular iPod/iTunes.
"We’ve now heard that this 'fall surprise' is related to this would-be iPad 3. We don’t have any more concrete information beyond that. But, as of right now, the plan is apparently to release one iteration of the iPad in the next few weeks. And then blow the doors open with another new version in the fall."
Sure, it's nothing more than speculation based on suggestion at the moment, but these are two well respected tech websites doing the speculating.
Plus, when you consider that there are also reports doing the rounds that Apple has filed a number of OLED touchscreen patents, it's not difficult to imagine a souped up, OLED packing, iPad 3 arriving before the year is out.
Watch this space, the tablet war is heating up nicely with all the big players coming to the battle-ground, and it will be fascinating to see which device wins out in the end.
iPad 2, iPad 3, Xoom, Flyer, PlayBook, TouchPad, Galaxy Tab 2 - which tablet will be the champion of 2011? Give us your thoughts using the comments below.