Apple's iPad 2 device will be available tomorrow at 5 p.m. local time at all 236 Apple retail stores in the US and through the Apple Store (www.apple.com) beginning at 1 a.m. PT.
Apple will provide its customers who will buy an iPad 2 at an Apple retail store a free Personal Setup service, helping them customize their iPad 2 by setting up email, loading new apps from the App Store and more, so they?ll be up and running with their new iPad 2 before they leave the store.
iPad 2 will also be available beginning at 5 p.m. local time at AT&T, Best Buy, Target, Verizon Wireless, Walmart and select Apple Authorized Resellers.
iPad 2 with Wi-Fi will be available in the US on March 11 for a suggested retail price of $499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 32GB model, $699 for the 64GB model. iPad 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G will be available for a suggested retail price of $629 for the 16GB model, $729 for the 32GB model and $829 for the 64GB model. iPad 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G compatible with the Verizon network will be available in the US only for a suggested retail price of $629 for the 16GB model, $729 for the 32GB model and $829 for the 64GB model.
Apple's competitors who are also planning to released tablets based on Google's Android OS - such as Motorola - can't seem to match the iPad's starting price of $499. Tablets that are comparable to the iPad in features cost hundreds of dollars more, while cheaper tablets are inferior to the iPad in quality.
For example, Motorola's Xoom sells for $800, or $600 if the buyer agrees to a two-year data service contract with Verizon Wireless. The iPad 2 with the same amount of memory and cellular data capability on AT&T's or Verizon's network costs $729, no contract required.
Smasung's Galaxy Tab is half the size of the iPad, yet costs $500. And that price is only available if the buyer pays an activation fee and signs up for at least one month of data service from Verizon, at a minimum total cost of $55. The tablet can be had for as little as $300, but that requires two years of data service, or hundreds of dollars in fees.