Apple iPad news hit and hit hard Monday morning: The long-awaited tablet device has sold out its pre-orders for now. Meanwhile, customers lucky enough to have already snagged a pre-order are getting their shipping notifications today. And, Best Buy will be carrying the device too.
To the first point, Apple’s Web site notes that new iPad preorders won’t ship now until April 12, indicating that pre-orders have exhausted the manufactured supply. For everyone else, though, Saturday, April 3 is D-Day for the arrival of the iPad into their waiting arms.
For those who did not pre-order, they can wait in line at the Apple Store or at Best Buy, although the quantities that will be available at retail will be limited. Best Buy, for example, is rumored to be getting only 15 iPads per store and not every store will have them: a move that is sure to stir a scramble among those in line to be one of the lucky few to get one. Best Buys stock of the iPad will be replenished April 12 as well.
The gadget is a form factor with a 10inch screen that lies somewhere in-between the iPhone and a Macbook; it runs the iPhone OS and the first versions to ship are Wi-Fi only; 3G versions are coming soon.
The 3G plan from AT&T is prepaid and activated over the air, right on the device. It costs $15 for 250MB of data per month and $30 for unlimited data, something Steve Jobs called a real breakthrough in pricing.
The iPad, which features a 9.7-inch touchscreen, a 1GHz processor and 10 hours of battery life, will be sold in Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi+3G versions at Apple Stores and online. Jobs also touted the affordability of the hardware: The Wi-Fi-only models cost $499 for 16GB, $599 for 32GB and $699 for 64GB. 3G models cost $130 more, making the pricing $629, $729 and $829, respectively.