The iPad 2 goes on sale at 5 p.m. Friday local time in AT&T and Verizon Wireless stores, Apple stores, Best Buy, Target, Walmart and select other authorized resellers, Apple said. AT&T, however, will also launch online sales on Friday at 1 a.m. Pacific Time Friday at www.att.com/ipad.
AT&T also revealed its rate plan for activating the personal hot spot feature on AT&T-activated iPhones when loaded with the new iOS 4.3 operating system.
In revealing its iPad rate plans, Verizon Wireless said it will offer three iPad 2 models with embedded Verizon-network 3G and Wi-Fi. They're priced at $629.99 for the 16GB model, $729.99 for the 32GB model, and $829.99 for the 64GB model, all available in black or white.
For these models, Verizon will offer four data plans, beginning at $20 per month. All are available without a contract, enabling users to drop service at any time without a financial penalty. Verizon didn't say whether, like AT&T, it would offers its iPad 2 rate plans on both a prepaid basis on a credit card as well as on a postpaid basis on a customer's monthly phone bill.
The Verizon plans are $20/month for 1GB of data, $35/month for 3GB of data, $50/month for 5GB and $80/month for 10GB. The cost of overage charges wasn't available.
AT&T's previously announced iPad 2 rate plans are the same as its smartphone data plans at $14.99 for 250MB or $25 for 2GB of data, both available without activation fees on a prepaid basis and a postpaid basis.
For a limited time, customers who activate a new postpaid $25 2GB plan get the first month free.
On a postpaid basis, AT&T customers who exceed their monthly data allotment will be billed $14.99 for another 250MB on the $14.99 plan or $10 per 1GB of overage on the 2GB plan. Overage charges on the prepaid versions of the plans are as follows: Users of the 250MB $14.99 plan will be able to buy another 250MB at the full $14.99 price, and 2GB plan users will be able to pay $25 for another 2GB.
To activate the AT&T iPhone's Personal Hotspot feature, which is available with the new iOS 4.3, consumers must choose the iPhone's $25/month 2GB data plan and pay an additional $20 for the tethering option, which provides an extra 2GB of data for a total of 4GB.
For its part, Best Buy said that iPad 2 will be available at all Best Buy stores and select Best Buy Mobile stand-alone locations at 5 p.m. local time on Friday. In addition, customers will be given tickets to purchase the iPad2 on a first-come first-serve basis at 4:30 p.m. local time.
Best Buy is also offering the opportunity to reserve an iPad 2 for in-store pick-up beginning March 12 with fully refundable $100 deposit.
On its website, Best Buy is offering the Wi-Fi-only, Verizon and AT&T versions in all three capacities, almost all of them in a choice of black or white.
In Best Buy stores, a spokesman told TWICE, all locations will offer the Wi-Fi-only versions, and the AT&T and Verizon versions will be limited to the chain's Apple Sales Consultant (ASC) stores, where Apple stations its own employees in Best Buy stores.