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iPad 3 coming in February, says Citi analyst

Apple needs some iPad magic to get around a recent court ruling in China that upholds the iPad trademark filed by Proview Technology and opens Apple up to a $1.5B counter suit. Apple

(CBS) - Apple may release the iPad 3 in February, according to Citi analyst Richard Gardner.

Business Insider spotted Gardner's note regarding the new tablet computer Thursday. The tip is attributed to "several sources."

Gardner went on to say, "there do not appear to be any significant technical hurdles remaining."

CNET reported in Oct. that manufacturers were struggling with porting Retina Display to the iPad 3. The feature was introduced on the iPhone 4 in June 2010.

Retina Display is defined by Apple as having a "pixel density so high your eye is unable to distinguish individual pixels." For example, the iPhone 4S has 326 pixels per inch (PPI).

Currently, the highest PPI possible on a tablet is 264. It's not so much a technical hurdle as it is an issue of mass production.

"It's not a question of making just one. That, of course, can be done. The challenge is making lots of them," a source close to the matter told CNET. "This is a quantum leap in pixel density. This hasn't been done before."

If Gardner's sources are commenting on this particular "hurdle," we might just see Retina Display on the iPad 3 after all.

The timing comes a month earlier than the iPad 2 launch last year in March and the original iPad in April 2010. Earlier estimates placed the iPad 3 release in April of 2012.