Evidence supporting the imminent announcement and release of Apple's iPad 3 continues to mount with many retailers reporting iPad 2 supply constraints.

According to 9to5Mac a source “familiar with Apple’s product distribution channels" is claiming supply shortages for Apple’s iPad 2 extend beyond Apple’s own distribution channels. United Kingdom retailer Carphone Warehouse is reporting shortages for five of their six 3G iPad 2 models (all except the 3G 64GB iPad 2). Orange is reporting shortages on half of their 3G iPad 2 models as well according to the source.

9to5Mac claims the lack an iPad 2 Wi-Fi shortage is evidence that Apple plans to keep the Wi-Fi models as the lower-end iPad option while introducing a new Retina Display, and A6 powered iPad 3 model. Dropping the 3G iPad 2 would allow Apple to streamline their production process as well by eliminated the need to produce both CDMA and GSM versions of the iPad 2. With the iPad 3 Apple could use the dual-baseband Qualcomm chips utilized in the iPhone 4S to service both CDMA and GSM networks with one model.

Also, there is always the unlikely possibility that Apple plans on including LTE support in the next iPad. Whatever Apple plans to do, the buzz surrounding the iPad 3 is beginning to peak. An announcement of an announcement (guh) will likely come soon.

Source: 9to5Mac