Apple Inc.’s iPad tablet computer hits store shelves in the United States Saturday, but fans who want the new touch-screen gadget shipped directly to them must wait longer.
The company began taking preorders for the iPad on March 12, promising to get the device to buyers by its store launch date of April 3. Customers who placed preorders by March 27 will receive the device by that date, where Saturday delivery is available. But yesterday, Apple said that new preorders won’t be shipped out until April 12.
The company, based in Cupertino, Calif., declined to give a reason for the delay, but said would-be customers can still preorder the iPad for in-store pickup on April 3, or purchase the device in stores that day.
The iPads going on sale will connect to WiFi networks only and cost $499, $599, or $699, depending on the data-storage capacity.
Versions that also can connect to 3G cellular networks are expected to go on sale in late April for $629, $729, or $829. International releases also are planned for later in April.