Update at 1:28 p.m. ET. New iPad:
As expected, Apple unveiled a new iPad just moments ago. According to All Things D and The Verge, which are live blogging the announcement, the iPad will have a higher resolution "retina" display, an HD camera, the ability to connect to a faster mobile network and a faster A5X processor.
The iPads will retail for $499 for a 16GB version; $599 for 32GB; $699 for 64GB. The 4G wireless models will cost $130 extra. They will be available March 16.
Apple also announced a new version of their Apple TV, which will be able to stream high definition content at 1080p.
Our Original Post Continues:
As has been the case with all of Apple's product unveilings, there is a shroud of secrecy surrounding today's impending announcement.
Today, Apple has invited media to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco for a 1 p.m. ET. event. The only clue provided by Apple was a typically cryptic invitation with a picture of an iPad and a few words: "We have something you really have to see. And touch."
The speculation is that Apple will release the third incarnation of its highly successful iPad tablet. The Wall Street Journal reports that "people familiar with the matter" say the new iPad will have "sharper-resolution screen and faster network speeds than its year-old predecessor."
"Apple has sold 55 million iPads since its debut in 2010. IHS iSuppli estimates that iPads accounted for about 62 percent of tablet computers shipped worldwide last year. Competitors include Samsung Electronic Co.'s Galaxy line, Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet.
"The upgrade from the iPad 2 is expected to be less significant than the upgrade from the original iPad to the iPad 2, which added two cameras while cutting down on both thickness and weight. And Apple has left no hints as to whether it will continue to manufacture the iPad 2 and offer it at a lower price, as it kept the iPhone 3GS after the launch of the iPhone 4."
If you want to get down to the nitty gritty, the website MacRumors, which keeps close tabs on Apple, has a list of potential announcements for today: from an updated Apple TV to something called Catalog Spree, which will apparently allow you to download store catalogs onto your iPad.
Now, the biggest unknown about today's announcement is whether Apple will announce its foray into the TV world. It was an idea that was floated around in Walter Isaacson's biography of the late Steve Jobs.
Reuters reports that analyst Peter Misek took the "see and touch" reference as a potential sign.
"An upgrade of the Apple TV set-top-box is possible as well as a remote chance for an iTV television set due to a reference to a large screen size," Misek said in a note to clients, according to Reuters.