Looks like we’ll meet the iPad 3 in early March

Would you be surprised if Apple released a new iPad the first week of March? We wouldn’t.

AllThingsD is reporting that Apple will hold one of its signature press events to announce the iPad 2’s successor in the first week of March. According to ATD writer John Paczkowksi, “The event will be held in San Francisco, presumably at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Apple’s preferred location for big announcements like these.” He has no information about how long after the event it will be possible to go buy the iPad 3 (the presumed name).

Apple has been pretty regular about its iPad cycle, and it was the first week of March last year when Apple first showed off the iPad 2. So it’s not far-fetched in any way that the company would have its successor ready the same time this year.

As for what will be inside it? Paczkowksi says he’s hearing the same basic thing as has been whispered in the Apple rumor mill over the last few months: faster chips, better graphics and about the same form factor. The one curious thing he says? The next iPad will have “a 2048×1536 Retina Display — or something close to it.”

So for those thinking a Retina Display was a given, this will make for at least some element of surprise once the iPad event arrives.