iPad HD said to be landing on 16 March

We're just hours away from the launch of the new iPad from Apple, but we could also be just days away from a shelf date too, if a new report is to be believed.

That's not a US shelf date by the way – the new iPad should also be in the UK on the 16 March too. That story comes from the 9 to 5 Mac site, which is said to have had word from an Apple Store source 'who has been reliable in the past', saying that preparations are underway for a big Apple Store event on that particular day. There are also two big store openings for Apple on that day too, with the Harrod's store in London being one of those. A new iPad will certainly be perfect for getting punters through the door on day one, so it does make a lot of sense.

But as ever, you'll need to get down there early. Talk of stock shortages is already in the air, which means you'll need to get queuing at your retailer of choice early or be quick off the mark when pre-orders go live online. Last time out, the Apple site ground to a halt, returning to offer the new iPad some time after the launch date. Be warned, it might happen again.

We should know all about the buying side of things later tonight, when the offical unveil takes place. We're expecting a 2048×1536-pixel Retina display, quad-core chip, a bigger battery and a more powerful camera and all for the same price as the current model. But you never know, Apple just might surprise us. Hopefully not with a price hike though. Oh yes, we're going with the iPad HD name for now, although iPad 2S and iPad 3 certainly aren't out of the question.

Sources: Pocket-lint and 9 to 5 Mac

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