The next-gen iPad or "iPad 3" may be announced as early as Wednesday, March 7, according to Rene Ritchie of iMore. Citing "sources who have been reliable in the past," iMore claims the iPad 3 will be announced on that date featuring a 2048 x 1536 Retina Display (a widely expected upgrade), and a quad-core A6 processor.
This report of a March 7 announcement date aligns with AllThingsD's earlier report that the iPad 3 will be announced in the first week of March. Jim Dalrymple of The Loop, who almost always has good information on such matters, simply quoted the first sentence of iMore's report on the March 7 announcement date and responded, "Yep." When Dalrymple breaks out the "Yep" stamp, it's almost as good as hearing something from Apple itself.
With Dalrymple's endorsement, we consider the date announcement decently sourced. Aside from that, not much concrete information on the next iPad is available, with only the usual storm of rumors to go on. While widely expected, a Retina Display and A6 processor update are both unconfirmed. Recent leaks to third-party repair depots allegedly show an iPad 3 case and display remarkably similar to the iPad 2 except for very minor internal changes. Other rumors have suggested the iPad 3 may feature an improved camera (let's hope so, because the iPad 2's camera is rubbish). Far less credible rumors have suggested the iPad 3 may feature support for 4G LTE networking, which both iMore and we here at TUAW find less likely for a variety of reasons.
If Apple follows a similar schedule to the iPad 2 announcement in 2011, the next iPad could be launched for sale in the US on Friday, March 16. International sales may follow in select markets like the UK, Australia, Canada, Japan, and New Zealand two weeks later on March 30, with staggered rollouts continuing in later months.