iPad with Wi-Fi to go on sale April 3

Sales of 3G model start in late April; pre-orders of all models start March 12

The iPads for Wi-Fi will be available in the U.S. on April 3, and the models for Wi-Fi plus 3G will become available later that month, Apple Inc. said today.

Pre-orders for iPads will be accepted starting March 12, the company said in a statement. Apple's online store will accept orders for all models, and Apple retail stores will be accepting orders for Wi-Fi-only models.

The Wi-Fi iPads include the $499 16GB model, a $599 32GB device and a $699 model with 64GB. The dual models for Wi-Fi and 3G will be priced at $629 for the 16GB version, $729 for the 32GB device and $829 for the 64GB version. The iPad weighs 1.5 lbs. and is a half-inch thick.

Apple said the App Store now has 12 new iPad apps and added that the tablet will run "almost all" of the 150,000 apps in the App Store, including those already purchased for an iPhone or iPod Touch. Apple didn't explain which apps are not supported, however.

Even though AT&T has been identified as the 3G network provider for the iPad, Apple's statement said the iPad will be sold only through the Apple online store, Apple retail stores and selected Apple authorized resellers, which presumably includes AT&T, although Apple could not be reached to clarify.

Apple said its new iBooks app for iPad, including the iBookstore, will be available as a free download from the App Store on April 3.

Outside of the U.S., Wi-Fi plus 3G models will be available in late April in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the U.K., and in other countries later in the year. Pricing for international iPads will be announced in April, the company said.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed @matthamblen or subscribe to . His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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