At last, the most anticipated Apple tablet is going public today. Those who have preordered the new iPad will have to wait three more days (as shipping starts March 19). Apple fans are breathlessly waiting to catch the glimpse of the new iPad. All they dream of is swiping their fingers across the marvelous Retina display.
Heavy crowds are expected at retail stores. So better reach on the rendezvous point early and carry snacks and your favorite gadget (iPod or PSP) along for time-killing. Here are the places where you can buy the new iPad.
Apple Retail Stores
Apple retail stores normally open up at 9 a.m. (or 10 a.m.) But on Friday, they are opening up early at 8 a.m. The new iPad will be available at Apples stores across 10 countries - U.S., Canada, Australia, UK, France, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Puerto Rico. Apple store employee will at buyer's disposal and will help users to get to know the new iPad and set up their e-mail accounts and configure the tablet. Apple stores will be selling only Wi-Fi model of the new iPad. For 4G model, you have to go to an AT&T or Verizon stores.
Online Apple Stores
Those who have already ordered the new iPad online can pick it up at nearby Apple store. Unfortunately, the tech giant will not be shipping the pre-ordered iPads on Friday. You can book the new tablet online but don't expect to get it before next week. It some cases, shipping may be delayed for 2-3 weeks. Still interested? Order the new iPad online here.
While most non-Apple stores will start rolling out the iPad at 8 a.m., Wal-Mart has a head-start and started selling the new tablet from 0000 hours on Friday. You can grab the third generation iPad in your local 24-hour Wal-Mart store. Click here to locate your nearby store.
Like Wal-Mart, select Best Buy stores are also open 24-hours a day, but the company will start selling the new tablet on Friday Morning at 8 a.m. Best Buy is not accepting pre-orders, so there are good chances that waiting in the line at Best Buy will be worth the effort as they will have sufficient number of the new iPads in their stock. To locate your local Best Buy store, click here.
AT&T stores will open up at 8 a.m. selling only 4G enable 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models priced at $629, $729 and $829 respectively. AT&T entry-level data plans costs $15 per month, offering 250MB of usage.
Verizon Stores, opening at 8 a.m., will also be selling 4G models only. The entry-level data plan costs $20 offering 1GB of data usage. You can also trade-in your iPad 2 at Verizon.
Target stores will open at 8 a.m. Target also accepts trade-in of iPad 2. Target is no accepting pre-orders, so better reach early at the store to avoid out of stock situation.
RadioShack stores will open at 8 a.m. Pre-orders from RadioShack have been open for weeks, so only a limited availability is expected.
(reported by Johnny Wills, edited by Surojit Chatterjee)