Monday, March 29, 2010

So You Want An iPad?

Over the weekend, The Associated Press reported that customers who buy an iPad at Apple's online store will have to wait until April 12 for shipping. Customers who ordered online before Sunday, though, are expected to get their iPads on Saturday.

Just days before the debut of the iPad, Apple stock hit a new all-time high of $233.87 today before closing at $232.39, up $1.49, or 0.6 percent.

If you want an iPad, and if you want it Saturday, you'll have to try your luck by heading to one of Apple's 221 retail stores — or, in a new development announced today, most Best Buy stores will be selling the new tablet computer. (We won't promise you, though, that there will be enough iPads for everyone who wants one.)

Apple, the Cupertino maker of "I'm A Mac" computers and "i" devices (iPod, iPhone, iPad), today released new details about the iPad launch. The "iPad connects users with their apps and content in a far more intimate and fun way than ever before," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a statement. "We can't wait for users to get their hands and fingers on it this weekend."

Apple's stores will open at 9 a.m.; iPad buyers will be offered free personal setup for their devices. Apple also will host free workshops for customers who want to learn about the iPad.

Models with Wi-Fi only will be available Saturday, starting at $499 for an iPad with 16 gigabytes of memory. Models with both Wi-Fi and 3G wireless connections, starting at $629, will be available in late April, Apple says.

According to AllThingsD, Silicon Alley Insider and many other sites, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty expects Apple to sell 6 million iPads in 2010. Other analysts have forecast a more conservative range of 3 million to 4 million iPads this year.

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