The iPad 3 will be announced in the first week of March, according to technology blog All Things D, and it will go on sale a week later.

All Things D is a tech blog associated with the Wall Street Journal and believes that the hotly-anticipated iPad 3 will be announced at a typically Apple media event held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.

Apple announced the iPad 2 at the same arts centre almost exactly 12 months ago, so its stands to reason that the new tablet will also makes its world debut at the same location.

"Sources say the company has chosen the first week in March to debut the successor to the iPad 2, and will do so at one of its trademark special events," the tech blog said.

"No word yet on a street date for the iPad 3 (assuming that's what it's called), though my guess is retail availability will follow roughly the same schedule as that of the iPad 2: Available for purchase a week or so after the event."

The iPad 3 is expected to feature a super-high resolution Retina display offering a resolution twice that of the iPad 2, boasting a pixel count of 2048x1536.

To drive this impressive display, the iPad 3 is thought to have a powerful quad-core A6 processor and an improved graphical processing unit (GPU); the overall design is tipped to be the same as the current iPad 2.

On Thursday, photos claiming to be of the rear case of an iPad 3 prototype were hurled around the internet. The case appears to be the same as that found on the iPad 2 on the outside, but the internal dimensions suggests space for a larger battery.

Apple does not comment on rumour or speculation about unannounced devices.