New iPad models --- Apple chose the unusual course of naming the new iPad "the new iPad," rather than the iPad 3, or the iPad HD, as had been rumored --- will be available in stores on Friday. However, history would indicate that there will be long lines at Apple Stores and that the device will probably sell out quickly.
Other retailers will sell the new iPad as well, though naturally Verizon and AT&T will only sell their own brand devices. Best Buy, Target, RadioShack and Walmart will also have the device in store on March 16.
RadioShack, in fact, began taking pre-orders a few days ago, making it the first reseller to do so. Target offers a 5 percent discount on iPads for those using their RedCard to make a purchase.
After the initial set of devices sells out in retail, customers will be forced into searching Apple's site to see which Apple stores will have stock, or calling other retailers.
The new iPad will have the following specs:
- 9.7-inch 2,048 x 1,536 retina display
- Dual-core A5X processor with quad-core graphics
- 5MP iSight rear-facing camera and FaceTime front-facing camera
- 1080p HD video recording
- Up to 10 hours of battery life
- Built-in Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)
- Cellular data service on wi-fi + 4G models (sold separately)
- Available in black or white
- iOS 5 and iCloud4
The wi-fi only version weighs 1.44 pounds, up from 1.33 pounds (cellular models are slightly heavier).
In addition to the new iPad, Apple will continue to sell the iPad 2, with 16GB of storage in a wi-fi only model, for $399.