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Apple Store Down In Lead-Up To Wednesday's Announcement

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The Apple store website went down Wednesday morning in the lead-up to what is expected to be the announcement of the next generation iPad -- likely to be called iPad HD.

The event is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. PST (1 p.m. EST) at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in downtown San Francisco.

Apple's online store is known to be inaccessible just ahead of product releases, and the downtime has previously signalled the imminent arrival of a new product, as was the case in October, when the store was down prior to the release of the iPhone 4S.

Apple is notoriously tight-lipped in the run up to new product releases, which has of course only fueled the speculation about what will be announced on Wednesday. Most sources predict that the biggest announcement will be a new iPad that is upgraded internally but similar in form factor to the iPad 2.

Based on supposed supply-chain leaks, it is the iPad's screen that will be seeing some of the biggest changes. MacRumors, which claimed to have a prototype of the new screen, says that it will have double the resolution of the iPad 2 and four times as many pixels. According to The Huffington Post, other rumored additions to the iPad include 4G compatibility, Siri, an improved camera and a larger battery.

Stay tuned to find out exactly what Apple has planned. Check out our guide to how you can follow Apple's announcement live here.

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