When the Apple iPad was unveiled in late January, Steve Jobs promised it would be on the market in 60 day. Separate statements from Apple also sit it would available in late March. Today, the company admitted that it isn’t going to make either of those deadlines.
According to an official announcement made this morning, the iPad, Apple’s first tablet computer, will hit store shelves on April 3. Those who want to be among the first to get one can put down a pre-order on Friday, March 12.
A Two-Phased Approach
The versions being released early next month will depend entirely on Wi-Fi to connect to the Internet.
Versions that can access AT&T’s 3G are scheduled for release in late April, which means their launch has not been pushed back. Pre-orders for the 3G versions will also start March 12.
Consumers will be able to choose from a version with 16 GB of storage capacity for $500, a 32 GB one for $600, or a 64 GB version for $700. Those who chose to add 3G capabilities will have to add $130 to these prices, plus a monthly fee.
Apple announced today that its iPad will be available next month in several countries outside of the U.S.
Both the Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + 3G version will be introduced in late April in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK.
Pricing for the different version outside of the U.S. will be announced in April, and Apple says this tablet computer will ship in additional countries later this year.
An Overview of the Apple iPad
The iPad is Apple’s answer to the popularity of netbooks. It’s a device for someone who wants more functionality than a smartphone, but also wants a device that’s more portable than a laptop.
As there is no built-in physical keyboard, when on the go, users will enter text on the 9.7-inch, 1024-by-768-pixel, capacitative touchscreen. Apple will also offer a Keyboard Dock for typing, plus the iPad will support the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard.
This tablet computer will run the iPhone OS on a 1 GHz processor, and come with a suite of software for browsing the Web, exchanging e-mail, and watching video, as well as a calendar and address book.
It will also be able to run third-party software written for the iPhone and iPod touch, as well as apps created specifically for this device.
In addition, it will be able to access the iTunes store to buy music, TV shows and movies, and games. A new iBooks app will let users buy and read books. This will feature titles from the New York Times Best Seller list.
The iPad is going to be 0.5 inches thick and weigh 1.5 pounds, and Apple promises a battery life of up to 10 hours.