A report by AllThingsD claimed that Apple will be unveiling the next generation iPad in the first week of March.
Sources also pointed out that the event will be held at the Yerba Buena Centre for the Arts in San Francisco, which is Apple's preferred venue for making major announcements. This will most likely be followed by the new iPad's availability in retail stores, one week after its launch.
Information provided by the sources echoed earlier reports of the new iPad model looking identical to the current iPad 2 with a more powerful processor and graphics processing unit (GPU). The next generation iPad is also said to come with a high resolution Retina display.
An Apple spokeswoman whom AllThingsD spoke to, declined to comment on the timing of the event and stated that the company does not comment on rumors and speculation. While 2011 was the Year of the iPad 2, it remains to be seen if Apple could replicate the same success this year.
The competition has stepped up its game in recent months, with Google releasing Android 4.0 for both smartphones and tablets. Android 4.0 strives to deliver a refined and more unified user experience across different devices. Our review of Android 4.0 on tablets concluded with the view that it is currently the most polished Android operating system, and it certainly has more ammunition this time to compete with Apple.
Apple also faces a new player in the market through Amazon's Kindle Fire which was released in late September last year. The combination of an attractive price point and rich ecosystem of services propelled the sales of the Amazon Kindle Fire ahead of other Android tablets. It may even undercut the Apple iPad 2 and next generation iPad model in the long term. Nevertheless, it is interesting to see how Apple plan to take on the competition with the new iPad.