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Apple adds catalog section to App Store

The company may be getting ready to launch interactive catalogs to be delivered to the next iPad, which is expected to make its debut tomorrow.

On the eve of what many expect to be the unveiling of the next iteration of the iPad, Apple has quietly added a Catalogs category to the iTunes preview section in its App Store.

Because deployment seems incomplete, the purpose of the new category is a bit of a mystery. And unfortunately, Apple representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

However, AppleInsider theorizes that since the company is expected to unveil an iPad tomorrow that features a Retina Display, it is getting ready to offer high-resolution, interactive catalogs be delivered to the iPad via the App Store.

One company called Catalog Spree has already been on the App Store for months, offering a specialty app that contains catalogs offerings from other companies. Its app for the iPad lets users browse and subscribe to these catalogs, something Apple could offer the same way it does with books and magazines with its iOS feature Newsstand.

"The impact of the iPad in the shopping and publication industries has been massive," Joaquin Ruiz, CEO of Catalog Spree, said in a statement sent to the media. "Adding an app category is not something that Apple does lightly and we believe Apple's decision reflects the importance of this use-case in the Apple App Store ecosystem."

Along with a 2048x1536 Retina Display that would bring its pixel density in line with the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, the impending tablet is expected to feature a faster chip and an improved graphics processor.

Join CNET for live coverage from Apple's tablet event, which starts tomorrow at 10 a.m. Our live blog will bring you news updates, photos, and running commentary.