The announcement came from Biowares Facebook page.
"Mass Effect 3 will be released in the first three months of 2012. The development team is laser focused on making sure Mass Effect 3 is the biggest, boldest and best game in the series, ensuring that it exceeds everyone’s expectations." - Casey Hudson, Executive Producer Mass Effect series
There are quite a few big name games coming out this holiday season, so to have someone delay their game to give some breather room from competition and sales isn't uncommon. It looks as if though they are going to be using the extra time wisely though. EA boss John Riccitiello said, "Essentially, step by step, [BioWare is] adjusting some of the gameplay mechanics and some of the features that you'll see at E3 that can put this into a genre equivalent of shooter-meets-RPG, and essentially address a far larger market opportunity than Mass Effect 1 did and Mass Effect 2 began to approach." This is great news. When Bioware is on, they can make abso-fucking-lutely incredible game, but Dragon Age II showed what happens when they rush development. I would rather wait a few more months and have Mass Effect 3 be incredible.
A little bittersweet but overall better than expected news.