London the place for iPad 2 launch

Well, it looks like the rumours were true - Apple is going to launch the iPad 2 next week on 2nd March. They sent out a cool invitation with an iPad peeking out from behind a calendar. But there's a pleasant surprise - the launch is in London!

Besides meaning we in the capital get a pathetic thrill from being the centre of attention, this is also good news for what it tells us about when the iPad 2 will actually come out. Apple products normally come out as soon as they're launched, with the Apple Store online usually updated to sell the new products mere minutes after the press conference finishes. But the iPad launch took place weeks before the iPad was actually released in America, and the international launch took a few weeks more.

CNET reckon having the launch in London makes it more likely Apple will be following the usual model this year, and releasing the iPad 2 as soon as it's shown off. 'That would be a serious coup for Apple, and a massive step in securing its position at the top of the tablet tree, as it would mean the iPad 2 is available before the Motorola Xoom and other rival Android Honeycomb tablets,' they point out. And they're right.

Now, we'll be honest - we haven't got our invitation yet. We might not be able to offer you an exclusive liveblog of the event, well, unless we just paraphrased the Engadget one (we're not above that sort of thing). But we'll be sure to tell you the key news - stats, price, release date, and whether the poorly Steve Jobs puts in an appearance - as soon as we have it.

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