Not only have we been treated to the the first images of (parts) of the iPad 3 (probably...maybe) but now we've a launch date for the next-gen Apple tablet - the first week of March.

That's when AllThingsD's sources are saying an Apple event to announce the third iPad iteration will take place, at least.

There's no concrete info on the time or the place; just "presumably at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts" and a guess at retail availability roughly following "the same schedule as that of the iPad 2: available for purchase a week or so after the event".

The original iPad was announced at the end of January 2010 and went on sale in the States in March. The iPad 2 was unveiled at an event on 2 March last year with it hitting the shops just over a week later.

There's been plenty of speculation as to what we might expect from Apple's next magical toy, including a 2048x1536 display, a quad-core A6 chip, a bigger battery and a better camera.

All we know for sure is that it better warm up come launch day - otherwise there are going to be thousands of cold fanboys sitting outside Apple Stores.

Be sure to check out our iPad 3: Review of rumours, features, pictures and specs