Facebook is almost ready to release its long-overdue iPad application, the New York Times reports.

While the company had a Facebook app for the iPhone ready to go as soon as the App Store was available to users, it has neither released or indicated a release for the iPad in the year since the amazingly successful tablet device was released.

And users haven’t been happy about it, forced to use the iPhone application, which handles poorly and looks worse on the iPad, or the mobile web app.

But the day when iPad users can sigh in relief is almost upon us. The New York Times is quite sure of its sources when it says that “people briefed on Facebook’s plans say that in coming weeks the company plans to introduce a free iPad application that has been carefully designed and optimized for the tablet.”

In Jobsian style, Mark Zuckerberg took a particular interest in getting this project right, which could explain the delay and sounds like Facebook’s absence on the iPad was borne out of fear of screwing it up more than anything.

We look forward to seeing what Facebook has done with their iPad application to make it so special.