iPad 2 Announcement Set for March 2. Is the iPad 2 Ready? Is this a Reaction to Stock Price Drops?

Apple stock is taking a bit of a beating today. Some attribute its apparent slowness to announce the much expected iPad 2. It was down more than 10 points (nearly -3%) when I took this screenshot of its current status at 2:27pm EST.

Although official invitations have not gone out, All Things Digital’s Kara Swisher seems confident in reporting:

Exclusive: Apple iPad 2 Event Set for March 2

She says that the event will most likely be held in the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.

Assuming this March 2 iPad 2 event date is correct, was it announced today because of the stock price drop over the past few trading days? An iPad 2 announcement was expected in the January time frame. This is awfully late. One has to wonder what is causing the apparent announcement delay and what the actual availability date will be.