The Houston Chronicle reports that Apple's latest retail store in that city is now set to open on March 16, and that date has led to some speculation about Apple's timing on the iPad release. Originally, the Houston store was set to open up in January of this year, but that launch got delayed. Then, the launch was moved to March 17, but just a few weeks ago it was changed again, to the day of March 16. The Chronicle suggests that this means the next iPad will be available on stores on the 16 -- it's going to be announced at the event next week on March 7, and given the timing on iPad releases in the past, we could see it out in stores around the 16th or so.
Then again, there are a number of reasons the launch has been moved around, from local concerns, construction issues, or employee training problems, all the way up to the fact that the 17th is of course St. Patrick's Day. It also seems strange that Apple would want to both launch the store and a new product on the exact same day (given that just one of those events would be enough to keep the store busy), but then again, maybe what's happening in Houston has nothing to do with a new iPad.
At any rate, Houston, you're getting a new Apple Store this month, and we're all probably getting a new iPad around the same time. Win/win for everybody.