The iPad 3 rumor mill has heated up this week, fueled by a report from Japanese Apple blog Macotakara that the much anticipated tablet will come out in March.

Earlier reports had pegged the coming of the iPad 3 to late February, to coincide with Steve Jobs’ Feb. 24 birthday.

Now Macotakara is reporting on a "strange" Apple event to take place in February that will be unrelated to the iPad 3, although it could involve  a services announcement or something related to iOS 5.1, which has been released to developers in beta form. Translated, the post reads: "I reported that Apple was going to hold Special Event in early February according to Asian supplier and source from united states, but this report told a half-side of truth. Apple will hold ‘Strange’ event at February instead of Special Event. "

The iPad 3 (or iPad 2S?) is expected to be slightly thicker than the iPad 2 in order to accommodate a high-definition "retina" display, plus boast a quad-core A6 processor and support for 4G LTE wireless networking.  Battery life is expected to be double that of the iPad 2 as well.

Last year, iPad 2 was introduced in early March and released later in the month.