iPad 3 debuts on March 7 in San Francisco

Apple has sent out official invites for a media event that will be held next Wednesday, March 7, in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts at 10 a.m. Pacific time.

The invitation, which reads “we have something you really have to see and touch,” features a finger pressing a slick looking iOS calendar icon.

As AppleInsider notes, the long-awaited iPad 3 is likely to boast a high-res Retina Display capable of display an impressive resolution of 2,048 by 1,536 pixels – twice the resolution of the 1,024-by-768 screen found on the iPad 2.

Although Cupertino has yet to release any official information, rumors indicate the next-gen iPad will be equipped with a faster processor (A5X or A6) and (potential) 4G LTE connectivity. 

External appearances are unlikely to change significantly, although the iPad 3 may feature edges slightly more tapered than the iPad 2.

However, the Retina Display could add an $80 premium to the price of the iPad 3, increasing entry level price points to $579 for the Wi-Fi-only 16GB model – while 3G-capable models could see a $70 jump in price. 

It should be noted that Best Buy has already begun discounting the iPad 2 by $50 in anticipation of the upcoming launch, while shipments of iPad 3 tablets have been spotted leaving the warehouses of Apple manufacturing contractor Foxconn.