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Apple has placed its component orders with manufacturers for the iPad 3, which will be available early next year, according to Friday's detail-trickling Wall Street Journal report. Here are a few of the things that the Journal managed to wring out of "people familiar with the situation" at the world's most valuable, and secretive, tech company:

The next generation iPad is expected to feature a high resolution display — 2048 by 1536 compared with 1024 by 768 in the iPad 2 — and Apple's suppliers have already shipped small quantities of components for the sampling of the iPad 3. Suppliers said Apple has placed orders for a 9.7-inch screen device.....One component supplier to Apple said the company has already placed orders for parts for about 1.5 million iPad 3s in the fourth quarter.

The higher resolution display is called a "Retina display," and it's explained by CNET this way:

One point of note from the Journal's report is that Apple is, in fact, planning to offer a so-called Retina display. That's a panel that has a pixel density that's high enough that the human eye can't make out pixels on things like text and rounded corners. For the iPad, that means the screen size remains the same as it's been in the first two models, except with double the resolution, or 2,048 x 1,536 pixels.

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