There’s no word on whether they will call it the Apple iPad 3 or come up with another name, but rumor is… a new iPad will be launched early next month.

AllThingsD is reporting that sources close to the company say Apple will hold an event in San Francisco during the first weekend in March to introduce their new iPad. It just so happens that Apple introduced the iPad 2 that same weekend a year ago.

AllThingsD’s sources say that the next generation iPad will look much like the current one. But on the inside will have faster chip and improved graphics. They note that – surprise – Apple has declined to comment about the suspected launch.

When the iPad 2 was introduced, it was launched into the marketplace about a week and a half later. It’s unknown if the next-gen iPad will follow the same time schedule.

Of interest to our us shoppers, of course, is the pricing. There’s no word on that from the sources, but a starting price of $499 has been widely discussed on the internet.

It has also been speculated that when the new iPad is released, the price of the iPad 2 will drop to better compete with the low cost tablets that are flooding into the marketplace. In iPad 2 price of $299, after the iPad 3 is launched, has been theorized by many Apple watchers. That would allow Apple to better compete with the $199 Amazon Kindle Fire. A recent survey found that Apple iPad owners were happier with their tablet than Kindle Fire owners were with theirs. That, plus the difference in power, apps, and perceived value, makes a $100 difference between the tablets not such a big leap.

We will keep an ear out for more news on this possible launch, plus pricing and pre-ordering information, and keep you updated here at CP.