Apple confirms iPad 3 announcement for March 7, but is an Apple TV coming too?

Apple has finally confirmed a press event will take place next week that is sure to debut an updated version of the iPad, although new rumours suggest another Apple TV may be in the works as well.

The announcement comes after weeks of rumours suggesting the press event would take place on March 7 in the United States. A CNBC report that suggested the event would take place on the east coast was debunked, with the announcement now confirmed to be in San Francisco.

The announcement has sent Apple shares up 1.8%, moving closer to breaching a market cap of $US500 billion.

Apple sent out the announcements last night, which contain a picture of what appears to be an iPad with someone touching the calendar icon. The text simply reads: “We have something you really have to see. And touch”.

The wording of the invitation – always carefully constructed – seems to confirm that Apple will debut a new version of the iPad that features an ultra-high resolution screen similar to the iPhone 4 and 4S models.

This rumour is backed by several component leaks over the past few months that hint at that, along with a bigger battery as well. Some reports hint at 4G connectivity.

Sources reporting to various blogs, including TechCrunch and 9to5Mac, suggest the iPad will feature an A5X chip with a better graphics engine, while the latter publication suggests the new iPad will be available nearly after launch.

But next week may not be just about the iPad, with reports suggesting a new Apple TV is in the works.

This isn’t the rumoured television set that Steve Jobs himself hinted at, but a new version of the set-top box. Over the past few weeks there have been reports of stock levels dwindling and retailers refusing to order in units for customers, and keen-eyed coders have spotted lines of code referencing a new Apple TV product.

Over at 9to5Mac, “reliable sources” have said the new Apple TV will launch alongside the iPad 3, featuring a faster processor that will be capable of streaming 1080p quality video.

Other features could possibly include Siri capability and a Bluetooth remote control, although these haven’t been confirmed.

Plenty of questions are still left unanswered, including how much the device will cost, whether there will be reductions in price for Australians and even if there’ll be a quick local launch.

SmartCompany will report on these announcements early next Thursday, March 8.

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