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Apple sends out invites for March 7 iPad event

Apple today sent members of the media invites to an event in San Francisco next week, where the company is expected to unveil the next version of the iPad.

Apple iPad event invite

Confirming reports from earlier this month, Apple this morning sent out invites to an iPad-related event taking place on March 7.

As in years past, Apple is holding its event at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in downtown San Francisco, as opposed to its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. where the company recently held its annual shareholders meeting and the unveiling of the iPhone 4S last October.

The invite says only "We have something you really have to see. And touch."

The date confirms a report from iMore (formerly Tipb) earlier this month, claiming Apple would be holding it on March 7, and matches up with a story from All Things Digital before that, which said Apple would be holding an event in the first week of March.

A report from CNBC that went out just an hour ahead of the invite suggested that Apple would be holding its event in New York instead.

Since its introduction, Apple has proclaimed both 2010 and 2011 as the "year of the iPad." The company sold 32 million iPads during its fiscal 2011, reporting another 15.43 million units in its first quarter of 2012. All told, the company's sold more than 55 million iPads since its introduction.

This big feature rumored to be coming to this year's model is a display that packs four times the number of pixels as the first and second-generation models, bearing resemblance to the so-called Retina Displays found on the company's recent model iPhones and iPod Touches. Other expected features include a speedier processor, better cameras, and the possibility of 4G LTE networking.

Yet one of the big questions that remains is when customers will be able to buy whatever's announced. The iPad 2 went on sale just a week and a half after its unveiling, while the company's first-generation model took about three months between when it was announced and when people could buy it.

For a full list of rumors, and things to expect, be sure to check CNET's iPad 3 rumor roundup, which we've lovingly kept updated going back to early 2011.