Cupertino, Calif. - Wi-Fi versions of the Apple iPad will be available to U.S. consumers in Apple stores and Apple's Web site on April 3, but the company declined to say whether the models would be available through authorized retailers on that day.
iPads equipped with Wi-Fi and 3G cellular will go on sale sometime in late April in the U.S., Apple said without getting more specific.
An Apple spokesperson said the Wi-Fi models would definitely be available April 3 in Apple's stores and web site, but she said she had "no further word" on availability that day through authorized dealers. The company, however, does plan availability through authorized dealers.
Outside the U.S., the company announced that all iPad versions will be available in late April in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the U.K. International pricing will be announced in April. The iPad will ship in additional countries later in the year.
The timetables represent some slippage from timetables outlined earlier this year. Previously, the company said the Wi-Fi models would be available in late March both inside and outside the U.S. and that the Wi-Fi+3G versions would be available 30 days later in the U.S. and select countries. Apple didn't specify distribution channels in its original announcement.
As part of its availability update, Apple also said that beginning March 12, U.S. consumers will be able to pre-order Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + 3G models from Apple's online store or reserve a Wi-Fi model for April 3 pickup in an Apple store.
In the U.S., the iPad will be available in Wi-Fi-only models at a suggested $499 for the 16GB version, $599 for the 32GB version and $699 for 64GB. Wi-Fi + 3G models will be available in late April at a suggested $629 for 16GB, $729 for 32GB and $829 for 64GB.
The iPad is 0.5 inches thick, weighs 1.5 pounds, delivers up to 10 hours of battery life, and lets users wirelessly download apps, e-books, music and video from Apple's on-line stores. It comes loaded with 12 apps designed specifically for it, but it can also run almost all of the more than 150,000 apps already on the iPhone/Touch on the App Store, including previously purchased apps, the company said. An iBooks app will be available as a free download in the U.S. on April 3, with additional countries added later this year, Apple said.
Apple's new iBookstore will feature books from the New York Times Best Seller list from both major and independent publishers, including Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Group and Simon & Schuster, the company said.