iPad 3 to be announced on March 7; Shares skyrocket

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iPad 3 will have a ‘retina display’

Apple testing a smaller screen version of the iPad 3

The intensely rumored new tablet of now the world’s richest tech public company will be announced on Wednesday, March 7, according to “sources who have been reliable in the past”.

An Apple blog says it is confirmed that the iPad 3 will have a quad-core processor, but it is not certain whether the new device will have LTE compatibility.

“People familiar with the matter”, as it is cited on the web, said Apple was preparing an LTE version for the Verizon and AT&T networks in the US.

The consumer electronics company is also reportedly testing a version of the iPad 3 that has a smaller screen than the current model.

Rumors from a range of sources, also hint that the iPad 3 will have a ‘retina display’ –  an improved screen resolution delivering 2048 x 1536 pixels.

Meanwhile, Apple Inc.’s shares passed $500 for the first time ever Monday morning, the latest milestone in the stock’s meteoric rise.

The company’s value has surged in recent years, at times overtaking even Exxon Mobil Corp. as the world’s most valuable company. Fast sales of  smartphones, tablets and computers have fueled better-than-expected earnings growth and allowed the company to amass about $100 billion in cash.

Apple’s shares recently traded 1.4% higher at $500.20. Investors continue to speculate over how much higher the stock could go. The company is reported to have its eyes on the TV market, along the iPad 3 and the iPhone 5.

About seven months ago, Apple shares hit $400 for the first time. The stock had taken nine months to go from $300 to that level. The company’s value had another psychologically significant moment last month, when the company’s market capitalization topped $400 billion.

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