Apple invites signal new iPad debut March 2

Apple on Wednesday sent out email invitations to a March 2 press event in San Francisco that hinted at the debut of a new version of its hot-selling iPad tablet computer.

The cryptic invitations provide the date, time and location of the event and show an image of a March 2 calendar page peeling back to reveal a corner of an iPad. The message on the page reads "Come see what 2011 will be the year of."

Technology analysts have taken to referring to 2011 as the "year of the tablet" with iPad dominating the category and competitors racing to market.

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs introduced the iPad at a press event in San Francisco in January of last year.

Unconfirmed reports indicate that Apple has started production of a thinner, more powerful version of its popular tablet computer.

The second-generation iPad is expected to have more memory and a front-facing camera for capabilities such as a FaceTime video-conferencing feature on Apple iPhone 4 smartphones.

Cupertino, California-based Apple said in its latest earnings release that it sold nearly 15 million iPads in the eight months after the tablet computers became available in the market in April of last year.

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