Rumor: Best Buy inventory system cites March 11 in-stock date for "iPad 3" accessories

To echo the New Yorker's line about musicians and nightclub owners, Apple authorized retailers lead complicated lives. Big-box chains like Target and Walmart have to plan distribution and promotions weeks or months in advance, but with Apple's notoriously tight-lipped ways regarding new products, things can get wacky.

We've gotten word from a Best Buy insider that the electronics retail giant expects to have some new accessories in stock as of March 11, 2012 -- see inventory screenshot above. In this case, the items in question appear to be a variety of ZAGG's InvisibleSHIELD device protectors... and they're showing up under a search for "iPad3."

Now, you can take all this with the requisite grains of salt; retail inventory anticipation does not necessarily equate to actual stuff on the shelves. But given that this particular product has to be customized for each individual iPad model (to allow for variations in the position of camera, speaker grilles etc. between the revisions and the Wi-Fi vs. 3G units), it's intriguing.

One problem though: the 11th is a Sunday, and there's little or no chance that it's the actual on-sale date of the new iPad model. Perhaps this stock of screen protectors will have time to get shelved and settled before a new iPad hits the streets on Monday the 12th.