Apple's next generation iPad is set to go into trial production this October, according to a report on the Wall Street Journal. The paper's sources say Apple has already ordered key components for the eventual iPad 3, which would hit retail in early 2012 instead of this holiday season as some previous reports suggested. Not details are being revealed but the report speculates that Apple is planning to offer a so-called Retina display.

Specifically, the tablet's 9.7-inch display is said to be going up from 1024x768 on the original iPad and iPad 2 to 2048x1536 -- double the number of pixels in both directions. This in itself isn't really a new revelation but is looking very likely at this point. It also coincides with a previous report that the iPad 3 had been pushed back to a 2012 release, due to manufacturing issues with the tablet's planned Retina display, and rumors of Apple investing in a Sharp LCD plant.

One component supplier cited in the report estimated that Apple would try to produce some 1.5 million iPad 3 tablets this year, with production running into next year, ahead of an official launch in 2012. If the company sticks to their yearly release cycles we can probably expect the next iPad to arrive sometime around March or April.

In related news Boy Genius reports today, citing "high-level AT&T sources," that an AT&T Vice President has confirmed to several employees that the iPhone 5 is slated to launch in early October. This is in line with what most of the latest reports have said although the actual announcement may still come sometime in September.