Apple has officially invited press to an event in San Francisco on 7 March, where it is expected to unveil the iPad 3.

Our colleagues over at Macworld.com in the US have received the official invite which reads: "We have something you really have to see. And touch."

The image (pictured) in the invite shows a hand and what appears to be an iPad.

The event will take place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco at 10am Pacific Time on Wednesday 7 March, which is 6pm GMT.

The official invite puts rumours carried by CNBC this morning claiming that New York was going to be the launch venue (and 9 March the date) for the next iPad to rest.

The timing is also interesting as the invites were received at around the same time as Google chairman Eric Schmidt was due to give his keynote at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

There has been a multitude of rumours about what to expect from the next-generation iPad. Some aren't even sure it'll be called the iPad 3, with speculation that it could be an iPad 2S - signifying that not much has changed - or the iPad HD, referring to a much higher resolution screen.

The display is likely to be twice the resolution of the iPad 2, it has been claimed, making it near enough a 'retina' display. Other component changes could involve a quad-core processor, though most believe it will have an updated version of the dual-core A5 chip.

4G compatibility is a strong possibility too, we're told, as is the inclusion of the iPhone 4S' personal voice assistant feature Siri.

It'll be interesting to find out which of the rumours were correct and which weren't, as well as to see if Apple has managed to keep any of the details of the new device under its hat successfully. Macworld will have live coverage of the event.