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Apple is hosting a media event next week to show off the next-generation of its iPad, as it prepares to take on new rivals in the fast-growing tablet market. Apple, which sent an invitation to reporters on Wednesday via email, will host the 2 March gathering at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, the same venue where Apple unveiled the original iPad in January 2010

An obvious strategic play on the part of Apple to get would be buyers of Motorola’s Xoom (launching today) to hold off on the purchase  until they get a temperature of what may be on the way.  That said, analysts expect the earliest availability date for the iPad2 won’t be until June of 2011.

Stay tuned for coverage surrounding the announcement.

Buzz surrounding the highly anticipated launch of a Google music service kicked into high gear yesterday when Motorola CEO  Sanjay Jha, let the cat out of the bag during his demonstration of the Xoom tablet at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

“If you look at Google Mobile services [via Android] today, there’s a video service, there’s a music service – that is, there will be a music service. “

Last Friday Billboard magazine published a list of Google executives who were believed to be part of the development of Google’s rival to Apple’s I-Tunes store, among those executives was Google’s Andy Rubin. Rubin is of course the godfather of Android.  In addition to rumors that Google is inking deals with music publishers, Elijah Ketchum, 16 year old staff writer for TDG, tweeted that he saw a spot in the Android Market for Google Music.

We’ll all just have to wait and see.