New iPad to reach consumers on March 16?

As Apple readies the stage for its big iPad event today, the latest rumors say the new tablet could be on the shelves in less than a week and a half.

CNET

Consumers eager to scoop up the next iPad may get their chance on March 16.

Preparations are reportedly being made for a "big" Apple Store event to take place on that date, according to Apple enthusiast site 9to5Mac. Citing an "Apple Store source who has been reliable in the past," the site believes this insider information points to the next iPad launching that Friday, just nine days away.

Further backing up that March 16 date, two new Apple Stores are rumored to be opening their doors that very day--an outlet in London at the city's popular Harrod's department store and a store in Houston, Texas.

A nine-day gap between announcement and launch date would approximately follow the timing set by the current iPad. Apple announced the iPad 2 on March 2 and launched it 10 days later on March 12.

The original iPad was slower to hit the market, announced on January 27 but not reaching consumers until early April.

Another tidbit leaked by 9to5Mac's source is that Apple will hold a second event a week after March 16.

No details were revealed on the subject of this event. But 9to5Mac speculates that it could focus on another product, such as Apple TV, or international launches of the iPad.

Apple typically doesn't hold events just to discuss international product launches. So if the rumor proves true and Apple doesn't spill the beans on a new Apple TV today, then March 23 could be the date that the latest version of its video service gets the spotlight.

CNET will live-blog today's Apple event , starting at 9:30 a.m. PT.

 

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