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Thursday, February 09, 2012, 05:40 pm PT (08:40 pm ET)

Apple said to be in 'crunch mode' to ready 'iPad 3' apps for on-stage demos, ads

As evidence continues to point toward an early March launch for the next-generation iPad, a new report claims that Apple is now in "crunch mode" as it prepares for on-stage demonstrations and television commercials highlighting apps for the device.

Sources intimated to The Next Web on Thursday that the Cupertino, Calif., company's selection process is proceeding at an "increased rate." Of course, it is to be expected that Apple would be under more pressure as the event approaches, but the report does triangulate other recent reports that have pegged a Retina Display-equipped third-generation iPad for an early March launch.

Apple has traditionally showcased some of its own apps, such as GarageBand and iMovie, as well as exemplary third-party apps at its media events for new iOS devices. According to the report, the company is placing an emphasis on "graphics-oriented applications with high-definition assets" to spotlight the rumored Retina Display on the device.

The iPad maker is also reportedly forwarding some apps to its advertising partner TWBA/Chiat/Day as the agency readies commercials for the third-generation tablet. Author Matthew Panzarino noted that the process is entering its "final phase" and is on a tight deadline for the presentation and subsequent television broadcast.

Speculation surrounding the so-called "iPad 3" has reached a fever pitch in recent days as more specific details appear to have emerged. AllThingsD reported on Thursday that the special event for the next-gen tablet will take place during the first week in March. The publication also affirmed that the tablet will have a resolution of 2,048 by 1,536 pixels, a "much faster" processor and improved graphics performance. Also on Thursday, The New York Times cited an Apple employee as saying the new iPad will have a "truly amazing" screen.

In addition, several photos purportedly of next-generation iPad components have surfaced this week. Images of an alleged back panel for the device appeared to show "very different" mounts for the logic board and a larger battery, as well as a "different" camera and LCD display. Meanwhile, a picture that may have been of the outside of a back panel suggested that Apple does not plan to make any major design changes to the form factor of the device. Finally, a photo has emerged of a high-resolution LCD panel manufactured by Sharp that "seems to be" bound for the next iPad.