Tuesday, March 06, 2012

iPad HD to hit retail stores on March 16: sources

Sources have reported that the iPad HD retail launch (as opposed to its launch event, which is tomorrow, March 7, 2012 at 10 a.m. PST) will be on March 16. That timeframe aligns perfectly to 2012's ship date for the iPad 2, which shipped about a week-and-a-half after the iPad 2 launch event, also on a Friday.

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Last year, Apple had the iPad 2 launch event on March 2. The iPad 2 hit retail on March 11, two Fridays later. There was, however, no online pre-ordering last year, and we certainly hope that's not the case this year.

In addition, the same sources are saying that there will be a separate launch event a week later, which would translate into the 23rd of March. You might recall we reported earlier that information had leaked that Germany would get an iPad HD launch on March 23.

The information about an "additional" launch event matches up perfectly with the earlier info, which would mean that the iPad HD's international launch will be a week sooner than the iPad 2's, which trailed the U.S. launch by two weeks.

Meanwhile, it's now pretty much assured that the new iPad will be called the iPad HD, to promote its retina display, though it's still unclear if the device will support LTE or not. However, an LTE iPad would be more important to Verizon, as its 3G CDMA network can't approach the speeds of AT&T's HSPA network, meaning an LTE product is far more important to it than to AT&T.

With that, the fact that, on Tuesday, Verizon Wireless began teasing that "Something Is Coming" front-and-center on its home page, points to a possible LTE iPad HD.

Naturally, nothing is a done deal until Apple says it is a done deal, so we'll know more after the iPad HD launch event on Wednesday.

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