Calif. – The iPad, Apple’s (NASD: AAPL) highly
anticipated new tablet computer, will officially hit store shelves next month,
the company announced on Friday. The company said that basic Wi-Fi models will
be available on April 3, while enhanced Wi-Fi and 3G models will be available
in late April. Customers will be able to pre-order both versions from Apple’s
website beginning next Friday.
The news comes five weeks after Apple first
unveiled the product, which resembles a larger version of the iPod touch, featuring
a 9.7-inch touch screen and an iPhone operating system.
The device, which will
sell for $499-$829, allows users to wirelessly browse the Web, download apps,
watch video and, in a step up from Amazon’s Kindle, download and view print
publications in full color.
The half-inch thick device, which weighs 1.5
pounds, also boasts a 10-hour battery and up to 64 GB of storage.