For the past few months, we’ve been hearing rumors that Apple is going to release a 3rd tablet this Fall. It’s supposedly going to be a complimentary “Pro” model to the iPad 2, and include a higher resolution display with better cameras.

However, recent reports of manufacturing issues have pushed the iPad 3 back to early next year. CENS “confirms” the delay with its latest report. The Taiwanese news outlet claims that the iPad 3 production won’t start until October…

It seems like things are moving along smoothly for Apple’s upcoming tablet. After all, Apple has picked display suppliers, and now we are hearing that it’s ready to start small production runs in October.

The CENS article also echoes what we’ve been hearing about a budding Apple-Sharp partnership:

“Also, Japan’s Sharp, which has worked with Apple on a joint venture and set up a new production line specifically for the partner, is expected to squeeze Samsung out of Apple’s display panel supplier list by joining the iPad 3 supply chain.”

Can you imagine being in Samsung’s shoes right now? Apple’s winning court cases to block your devices from being sold around the world, and now it’s trying to cut you off as an iPad parts supplier? That’s not a small loss.

If you figure that the iPad displays cost at least $50 a piece, and Apple places orders for components in the millions, we’re talking hundreds of millions of dollars in lost profit. It’ll be interesting to see how all of this affects Samsung’s bottom line.

Can it last much longer?