Coinciding with today's iPad pre-ordering, Apple updated the iPad section of their site. Buried deep in the iPad section is a page providing more information about the data plans available on the Wi-Fi + 3G model of the iPad. The first paragraph reads like an advertisement for AT&T's "quality" service, but the second paragraph reiterates some of what Steve Jobs said in his introduction keynote. Options are limited data (250MB) for $14.99 per month, or unlimited data for $29.99 per month. The most significant piece of information is that a contract is not required.
This morning, Apple began taking pre-orders for Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + 3G models of the iPad, limit two per person. Wi-Fi models will be ready for home delivery on April 3 and Wi-Fi + 3G models will ship in late April. Apple is also allowing customers to reserve an iPad Wi-Fi for pick up at their favorite Apple store — also limited to two per customer — though no reservations are being taken for the Wi-Fi + 3G model currently.
When in doubt, sell 3G data contracts and the money will roll in. According to Engadget, wireless carrier Verizon is encouraging its staffers to tell customers to purchase the WiFi-only version of the iPad and pair it up with a device like the MiFi rather than shelling out $130 more for integrated AT&T 3G and 30 days until the device launches.
Verizon has followed this up by calling its biggest competitor's 3G network "overloaded" even though there's currently a 5GB limit of data on a Verizon MiFi plan which will run users $60 a month, twice as much as AT&T will be charging for its dedicated, unlimited iPad plan.
AT&T's been singing its own praises as to how it's renovating its network via commercials and interviews with the media and it's time to count the tangibles.
According to Engadget, the company is planning to add coverage to at least a dozen cities over the course of 2010, these cities including New York to metropolitan areas in Florida and Oklahoma with the company investing in additional cell sites, more 3G coverage and additional backhaul.
As they did with the first iPhone ad, Apple yesterday aired the first iPad ad during the Academy Awards. No new information was revealed about the device, although the ad shows off many of the included applications and serves as a public announcement of the April 3rd launch date. The ad can be viewed on Apple's site or below via YouTube.
On a related note, Steve Jobs was spotted at the event according to CNET. He didn't take any interviews and was likely in attendance to support Pixar and Disney, of which he is the largest single shareholder.
It's official: Apple finally announced that the Wi-Fi models of its long-awaited iPad will go on sale in the U.S. on Saturday, April 3rd. 3G-capable models of the device will be available in the U.S. and other countries in late April and Apple will begin taking preorders for the both models on March 12th.
In addition to the U.S. launch, all models of iPad will be available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK in late April. Users can preorder an iPad via Apple's online store or reserve a Wi-Fi model to pick up on Saturday, April 3, at an Apple retail store.
Per AppleInsider, Think Equity analyst Vijay Rakesh issued a note to investors on Thursday saying that checks with Taiwanese manufacturers indicated "some minor delays" in production of Apple's upcoming iPad. This marks the second report in a week citing production delays of the much-anticipated product and manufacturing volume may remain low for the month of March.
These issues, said Rakesh, are only expected to be temporary. "Our checks are indicating iPad volumes will pick back up to the 800k-1M units/month into April-May from the current 200-250K," Rakesh wrote. "We believe this is just a minor hiccup in a longer-term entirely new revenue stream and product roadmap for AAPL." He added, "the delays do not appear to be glass or manufacturing process."
Although Apple officially announced that the iPad would go on sale at the end of March, the actual release date may be a few days sooner. According to a blog post from The Examiner, an Apple Store employee commented that Apple is planning on launching the iPad on Friday, March 26th at 6 P.M. in a similar fashion as the original iPhone launch. The author also claimed that Apple employees will be receiving the iPad for training on March 10th, commercials will begin airing on March 15th and those who camp out for the iPad will receive a "special gift."
The much-anticipated 3G enabled version of the iPad will follow the Wi-Fi iPad launch by about 30 days, according to Apple.