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iPad 3 set for 7 March launch

Apple has sent out invites to the ladies and gentlemen of the press to come and see its new tablet next Wednesday.

Get the edge of your seat warm and prepare your best excited faces -- the iPad 3 is set to be unveiled at an Apple event in San Francisco on 7 March.

The news came via an official Apple invite: "We have something you really have to see. And touch." And although it sounds like something that could be whispered down a dodgy dark alley, it's undoubtedly suggesting that the newest iteration of the iPad is mere days away.

This ties in nicely with rumours we've heard suggesting an early March launch event, and is roughly the same time of year that the iPad 2 was launched in 2011. Apple is nothing if not a creature of habit, so this date fits in well.

The invite was also sent out at the exact time Google's Eric Schmidt was about to start his keynote speech at Mobile World Congress -- classic bitchy Apple timing.

So what are we likely to get from the latest tablet? The rumour mill has been in full flow for a while now, and we've been busy picking out the most likely nuggets of information from the masses of nonsense in our regularly updated iPad 3 rumour guide. It's likely to be packing the latest quad-core A6 processor and a retina display that's double the resolution of the current iPad.

Other reports have suggested a slightly thinner design and even better battery life. Throw in Siri and the same 8-megapixel camera we've already got on the iPhone 4S and it's shaping up to be quite the gadget. Other rumours have hinted at a smaller, 7-inch version to sit alongside it, but I'm not convinced we'll be seeing one of those this time round.

CNET UK will be covering the event from every angle we possibly can next Wednesday, so stay tuned for all the latest news. In the meantime, check our complete guide, have a flick through our gallery of concept designs and watch our video below. Don't forget to let me know what you'd like to see on the new iPad in the comments below or over on the CNET UK Facebook page.