iPad 3 with 4G LTE coming to AT&T and Verizon

Apple will announce an iPad 3 version capable of running on AT&T and Verizon Wireless fourth generation LTE networks, at a launch event in the first week of March, according to a report published by The Wall Street Journal.

Apparently, where LTE is not accessible the iPad will automatically switch to using a slower available network.

As the report points out, Verizon has now managed to reach almost 200 million people with its 4G network, being the first out of the blocks with LTE. AT&T's high speed network meanwhile, is gradually catching up, providing coverage for 74 million people by the end of 2011.

It is not clear at this point whether Apple will partner with the other major US carriers, Sprint and T-Mobile for the iPad 3 deal, both declined to comment when approached by the WSJ.

Previously, Apple has favoured AT&T, the first carrier that included the iPad in its offering to subscribers. In 2010 when the original iPad was launched just AT&T sold the iPad which came with Wi-Fi and 3G support. One year later, when the second generation iPad hit the market, Apple's tablet was available on both Verizon and AT&T networks.

The inclusion of LTE connectivity has been rumoured in a number of previous reports, along with the most anticipated feature - a 2048x1536 pixel display, as well as a quad-core A6 processor.