Confirming an official release date, Apple has announced that the iPad will hit US shelves on April 3rd, with pre-orders starting next week.
US pre-orders for both wi-fi only and 3G versions will start on March 12th. The wi-fi only version will be available for purchase on April 3rd, with 3G models launching in late April in the US. International customers have to wait a bit longer, as Apple said that both 3G and wi-fi only versions of iPads will be available in late April in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. No date has been confirmed for a New Zealand launch, but an Apple said that the device will ship to additional countries later this year.
The iBookstore will launch alongside the iPad, and though there’s not yet confirmation on whether it will also accompany international iPads, the company said that the app will be available will be available in countries other than the US later this year. As previously reported on MacGuide, the iBooks app could come to New Zealand when the iPad does.
Though Apple CEO Steve Jobs said at the iPad unveiling that the wi-fi version would be available within 60 days, the April 3rd launch date is 66 days after the iPad’s announcement.
Apple also said that the iPad would include 12 apps designed specifically for the device and would be able to run nearly all existing apps in the App Store. Jobs has also confirmed that the device will run apps users have already purchased for an iPhone or iPod touch.
International pricing has not yet been confirmed, but the US w-fi only iPad will start at US$499.