Apple likely to launch iPad 3 on March 7


Apple has announced a media event on March 7 at which it is expected to unveil the latest version of its popular iPad tablet.

The company, which sent the invitation to journalists by email on Tuesday, did not officially confirm the product’s launch.

News of the new event sent shares in the company, the world's most valuable, rising to close at $535.41, up $9.65 or nearly 2 percent on Monday's close.

Today's invitation read: “We have something you really have to see. And touch.” The message featured a partial image of a device resembling the iPad, Reuters reported.

The invite-only event next week is also being held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, the same venue Apple used to launch the last two iPads.

Over 50 million iPads have been sold since the range was first launched in 2010, according to the BBC.

The first two versions of the iPad revolutionized the tablet computer market, and transformed it into one of the quickest-growing sectors in the computer industry.

More from GlobalPost: Apple earnings – quarterly profits hit record territory

iPad sales have outstripped those of rivals like Research in Motion’s Blackberry Playbook, the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Motorola Mobility’s Xoom, CNN Money reports.

Unprecedented sales of its tablet in the US helped Apple report record-breaking profits of $13.06 billion for the three months to December 31, 2011, up 118 percent from the same period in 2010.

Apple has yet to reveal when the new devices will go on sale, although last year sales of the iPad 2 began nine days after the launch, which also took place in March.

The iPad 3 is expected to have a sharper resolution screen than its predecessor, along with support for wireless carriers’ fourth generation LTE networks, The Wall Street Journal reports. Wireless carriers including AT&T and Verizon Wireless are expected to sell the new model. 

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