Apple made it official Friday, announcing the iPad will go on sale April 3 with pre-ordering starting March 12. Apple says it will first sell its Wi-Fi-enabled iPads on April 3 and will sell Wi-Fi- and 3G-equipped models "in late April." On March 12 you'll be able pre-order either model.
Apple says iPad will be available in Wi-Fi models on April 3 in the U.S. for a suggested retail price of $499 for 16GB, $599 for 32GB, and $699 for 64GB. The 3G-equipped iPad 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 U.S. through Apple's online store, Apple retail stores, and select Apple authorized resellers.
The announcement puts a rest to rumors of a delay by Apple to bring iPad to market. During his keynote introducing the iPad in late January, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the non-3G iPad would hit store shelves in 60 days, followed by the 3G model 30 days after that.
In a prepared statement today, Jobs said, "We're excited for customers to get their hands on this magical and revolutionary product and connect with their apps and content in a more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before."
As part of the launch of the iPad, Apple says it will also officially release the free iBooks app for the iPad that gives the iPad e-book functionality. Starting on April 3, the iBooks app will be available along with Apple's iBook bookstore, which is available through iTunes. The iBookstore will feature books from both major and independent publishers, including Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Group, and Simon & Schuster, Apple says.
Apple says the iPad will first be available in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the U.K. Pricing for countries outside of the U.S. is expected in late April.