UPDATE: The official launch date for the iPad has been announced. For more information, read this article: Apple iPad Is Going to Be a Bit Late
Apple has promised that the iPad will be on store shelves by the end of this month, but hasn’t given an exact day for the release. An unconfirmed report claims to have this date, and also says that the version with 3G access might be delayed.
When the iPad was first unveiled in January, Apple promised the first versions would go on sale in late March. It has yet to get more specific, but a report claiming to have inside information from a source at an Apple store says the plan is to release this tablet computer at 6 pm on Friday, March 26.
Industry analysts at Think Equity report that their sources in Taiwan tell them that Hon Hai Precision, the company producing the iPad for Apple, has run into difficulties.
As a result, there will allegedly be only 300,000 units available this month, instead of the 1 million that Apple had wanted.
A Rollout in Stages
The iPad is going to be released in two stages. At the end of this month, 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 AT&T’s 3G capabilities will have to add $130 to these prices, and wait another 30 days for the release.
This tablet computer will be available in Apple stores and Best Buy locations, as well as on the Web.
Those who are willing to camp out at an Apple Store to get their iPad will reportedly be given a “special gift”.
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.
Apple will also offer a Keyboard Dock for typing (see image at right), and the iPad will also 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.
There will be versions of the Apple iPad with a range of built-in storage: 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB.
All versions will sport Wi-Fi plus Bluetooth, plus customers will have the option to add AT&T 3G service to their tablet for an addition up-front cost and monthly fee.