A pair of reports, which cite "people familiar with the matter" from The Wall Street Journal today attempted to shed light on the rumored early-March iPad release, claiming Apple is planning to launch a smaller 8-inch iPad and will offer LTE-capable versions of its slate through Verizon Wireless and AT&T.

Just last week, the Journal's tech blog All Things Digital reported that Apple will hold a launch event in San Francisco the first week of March where the new iPad will be unveiled.

Apple declined to comment on the matter.

Apple's iPad currently controls a majority of the tablet market, coming in at about more than 61.5 percent of global shipments in the third quarter, according to IDC. A smaller iPad would presumably help Apple compete against rivals like Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet.

Apple's iPad is at the center of controversy in China right now, as a small company there, Proview Technologies, claims Apple is in trademark violation for using the name "iPad," which Proview says it owns in China.

As a result of the dispute, Proview has asked authorities to seize iPads from stores selling the device and just yesterday announced a suit to ban the import or export of Apple's iPads from the country.

Apple's stock surpassed $500 for the first time yesterday on news of a new iPad launch. Shares of the company were valued at $502 in early morning trading.