Apple's new iPad will be available in all 221 US Apple retail stores and most Best Buy stores this Saturday, April 3, beginning at 9 a.m.
Starting at just $499, iPad lets users browse the web, read and send email, enjoy and share photos, watch HD videos, listen to music, play games, read ebooks and much more, all using iPad's Multi-Touch user interface. iPad is just 0.5 inches thick and weighs just 1.5 pounds - thinner and lighter than any laptop or netbook -and delivers up to 10 hours of battery life.
The iPad resembles a large iPhone, with a 9.7-inch touch screen, and can run most of the 100,000-plus applications, games and entertainment that have made the iPhone so popular.
It is a typically sleek Apple creation at 1.5 pounds, with WiFi and 10 hours of battery life. Wireless-compatible 3G versions will come later in April, with the most expensive model topping out at $829.
Technology enthusiasts have praised the iPad's beautiful screen and fast Web browser, but also noted flaws: it does not have a camera for video chat, it cannot run more than one app at a time, and it cannot view popular video sites such asHulu.com, which use Adobe's Flash software.
Another factor that will affect sales is how many media companies Apple is able to eventually bring on board. Companies such as Sports Illustrated publisher Time Warner Inc and Wall Street Journal publisher News Corp are planning digital editions for the iPad, although Apple's talks with some others have reportedly been bogged down by pricing.
If the iPad is successful, it could set the standard for a wave of tablets later this year from rival vendors including Hewlett-Packard Co and Dell Inc, and provide a bridge for print media to a digital future.
Apple said that its retail stores would offer a free Personal Setup service to every customer who buys an iPad at the store, helping them customize their new iPad by setting up their email, loading their favorite apps from the App Store, and more. Also beginning Saturday morning, all US Apple retail stores will host special iPad workshops to help customers learn more about this magical new product.
iPad will be available in Wi-Fi models on April 3 in the US for a suggested retail price of $499 for 16GB, $599 for 32GB, and $699 for 64GB. The Wi-Fi + 3G models will be available in late April for a suggested retail price of $629 for 16GB, $729 for 32GB and $829 for 64GB. iPad will be sold in the US through the Apple Store (www.apple.com), Apple?s retail stores, most Best Buy stores, select Apple Authorized Resellers and campus bookstores. The iBooks app for iPad including Apple?s iBookstore will be available as a free download from the App Store in the US on April 3.
New iPhone Coming This Summer?
In related news, Taiwanese Pegatron has won orders to manufacture Apple's iPhone to run on the CDMA standard, according to a Reuters' report.
Apple is said to be developing a CDMA-compatible iPhone that would work on leading U.S. mobile carrier Verizon Communications's network, the Wall Street Journal had reported earlier, citing people familiar with the matter.
The Taiwan firm, Pegatron, will begin shipping the phones from next year, said the source close to Pegatron.
Pegatron, a subsidiary of Asustek, has been manufacturing on behalf of Apple for a while now.
Apple has released a new iPhone model every summer for the past three years and is widely expected to do so this summer. But a CDMA-compatible iPhone may come later in the year, the Journal report suggested.
Rumors have swirled for some time about Apple launching an iPhone with Verizon. AT&T has been the sole U.S. carrier since the iPhone's debut in 2007 and some iPhone users have complained about the quality of the AT&T network.