Apple confirmed it will hold an event on March 7 in San Francisco, as analysts expect the company to announce the new iPad.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based company sent invitations, featuring a photo of a hand touching an iPad’s home screen, to the media. In typical Apple fashion, the invitation offers a few clues likely to lead to plenty of speculation in the next week, but the biggest of them is the message on the invitation.
In white text over the picture it says, “We have something you really have to see. And touch.”
The “something you really have to see” could allude to the idea that the iPad 3 will feature a retina display, much like the iPhone 4S. The iPad’s screen is largely out of focus on the invitation, but the clear parts of the image reveal a screen that appears to have a higher resolution than the iPad 2.
Apple’s trademark “home button,” which usually sits on the lower bezel of the device, is conspicuously absent from the image on the invitation. The lack of the home button can be explained if the user in the photo is using the iPad in landscape mode, but if they aren’t, Apple’s “touch” reference could be an indication of a new way users can wake the device out of sleep mode.
Other rumors about the iPad 3 in recent weeks revolve around the possibility of upgraded cameras, LTE technology and a quad-core processor. Apple will likely have answers to all that speculation at its event next week, as well as when customers can expect to get their hands on the tablet.
History suggests the company will not wait long to launch the iPad 3 once it unveils the device. The iPad 2 went up for sale just nine days after its unveiling last year.
The launch of the iPad 3 will likely mean a price drop for the iPad 2. Some retail outlets have already begun to discount the device, but Apple may announce an official price cut at its March 7 event.
The iPad 3 will find tablet shelves more crowded than its predecessors, but it’s still a market that Apple rules, and it can continue to do so if the device lives up to the hype that is bound to surround it.