As announced last week Apple has begun taking pre-orders from United States customers for its upcoming Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + 3G model iPad.
Customers are being limited to pre-ordering no more than two devices, but Apple is including free delivery where possible.
The Wi-FI only model is due to beginning arriving in homes and stores on April 3rd while the Wi-Fi with 3G model iPad won't beginning shipping until sometime later in the month. Both the Wi-Fi and 3G models will be also become available in the U.K., Canada, France, Germany, Australia, Italy, Japan, Span and Switzerland late April.
The iPad starts at $499 for the 16GB model with Wi-Fi. Two additional Wi-Fi models are available with greater memory, $599 for 32GB and $699 for 64GB.
While the iPad will initially release with a updated version of what is known as the iPhone OS, AppleInsider is reporting that Apple is working on a major summer update that will introduce a multitasking solution of the mobile multitouch platform.
Citing sources "with a proven track record in predicting Apple's technological advances" they report that development is in full swing, but that "the iPhone Software 4.0 remains under development and reportedly has a quite 'way to go' before it's ready for prime time."
AppleInsider then goes on to speculate on some the issues Apple will need to address, including security, user experience, battery life and other optimize resource conservation issues before the feature is released.
It is unclear if the given summer time-frame is from the reliable source or AppleInsider speculation. None the less, Apple annually holds its World Wide Developer Conference during the summer, and the past two years of the conference have brought refreshes of the iPhone OS.
Meanwhile, not to be left behind, Microsoft made news this past week in regards to their own tablet-based computing initiatives. Engadget last week, shorty after Apple announced the iPad's April 3rd availability, broke with news from its "extremely trusted source" that Microsoft's Courier will be a folding 10x14 "digital journal" that is built on the Tegra 2 mobile processor and will run the same OS as the Zune HD, Pink, and Windows Mobile 7 Series smartphones.
But while the iPad is the could-be hit of the summer, one will have to wait until fall or winter for the Courier.
No matter what, it seems that in some form or another the must-have-gadget of 2010 is going to be a tablet.