Apple finally sent out invitations for its iPad 3 media event this morning. The invites included the date, March 7th, the place, San Francisco, and a brief message: “We have something you really have to see. And touch.”

As usual, Apple has embedded some subtle clues in the invitation that give away details regarding the event and what it will be talking about. And like everyone else, we’ve attempted to decode these cryptic messages…

Let’s start with the obvious — the icons. There are three apps visible in the invitation: Maps, Calendar, and Keynote. The maps icon shows 1 Infinite Loop, Apple’s headquarters. The Calendar app shows the event’s date, March 7th. And the Keynote app, well that should be obvious. Apple will undoubtedly be presenting something.

Now let’s take a look at the iPad in the picture. A lot of folks are speculating that this is indeed the iPad 3. You can’t tell much about the tablet from the close-up, low-resolution photo, but it appears to echo numerous reports that the slate will look extremely similar to its predecessor.

A lot of folks have pointed out that there is no Home button on the iPad in the photo, leading to speculation that Apple’s new tablet won’t feature one. While this would be cool for a number of reasons, we don’t think it’s very plausible. Apple more than likely turned the iPad sideways for the photo to keep the invite’s background smooth. Or maybe they’re just messing with us.

And finally, the message. This one is a doozy. “We have something you really have to see. And touch.” could be interpreted a number of ways. The ‘touch’ portion of the message is more than likely referring to the new iPad, but what about the first part? What could Apple want us to see? Is this referencing the new Apple TV we’ve been hearing about? Or maybe it’s just pointing to the new iPad’s Retina display — which has been described as “truly amazing.”

We obviously won’t know for sure what any of this means until Apple’s event next week, but it’s always fun to flex our deduction skills.

What do you think of Apple’s invite? Have you drawn any different conclusions?