If you were hoping that Apple would replace its iPad 2 this year with a new model featuring a better screen and more power, you’ve still got a few months to go, with 2012 looking more and more likely.

Rumours circulating now suggest Apple’s next iPad will use a high grade Retina display technology similar to what’s seen on the iPhone 4, and could offer the iPad 3 an upgrade in resolution from the 1024×769 currently seen to a 2048×1536. The increase in screen quality will likely make image and text more legible, offering a clearer screen for tablet buyers.

If it’s anything like the last two iPad models, Apple will announce this early into 2012, releasing it by the end of the first quarter of the new year.