Today Apple has announced that their recently introduced iPad tablet will be available for purchase starting Saturday April 3.
While this initial release will only include the Wi-Fi model in the Unites States, Apple is planning to have the Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi with 3G models available in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK by late April.
In addition to the products' availability in April, Apple will begin allowing customers in the U.S. to pre-order either model from Apple's online stores starting March 12.
Introduced in January, Apple announced to the world its evolution of the widely successful and innovative iPhone. The iPad weighs 1.5 pounds, has a 9.7-inch color display and a custom built dual CPU and graphics chip. The 16GB model, without a 3G radio but with Wi-Fi, will cost $499, and 32GB and 64GB models, also sans 3G, are priced $599 and $699, respectively. Models with 3G radios will cost an extra $130.
While this latest announcement has finally set a firm date for the product's release, it is still to be seen how successful the initial release of the iPad will be. Recent rumors have suggested that Apple has run into manufacturing issues that could limit the number of first available iPads to some 250,000 devices.
While some issues should be expected with bringing a new device to market, the reliability of these rumors, which vary the severity of the issues being dealt with, cast some doubt on a smooth and orderly rollout for Apple's new mobile computing device.
However, one thing is certain: no matter how many initial units will be made available for purchase on April 3, one can expect long lines of individuals camping out in front of their favorite Apple store the last week of March and every weekend in April.