If you want an iPad, crack open that wallet and prepare to reserve your spot in line with plastic. After rumors of slow iPad production reaffirmed by a release date bumped back to April 3, the iPad has finally gone up for preorder, giving Apple fans their first shot to reserve a shiny new tablet in the face of a potential shortage.
As previously announced, only the Wi-Fi models, priced at $499, $599 and $699, will be available on April 3. Those with 3G capability will arrive in late April, with prices $129 higher at every storage level. Apple has opened preordering on all six variants.
Updates to Apple’s site also revealed new details about the iPad. The iBooks application, for instance, won’t come preinstalled. Users will download it from the App Store, and it will harness Apple’s VoiceOver technology to read books aloud, ala Amazon’s Kindle. Apple also revealed a “screen rotation lock,” which will keep it from flipping the screen around when you lay down to read, and an “account overview” screen that will give users who opt for limited data plans an easy way to keep track of their data usage – as well as the option to buy more data or upgrade plans.
Last month, rumors indicated that Apple’s stock of iPads could be as low as 30 percent of what it anticipated due to manufacturing issues. Although suppliers denied the issue, their claimed numbers still fell short of original estimates, and Apple’s failure to meet its promised launch within March further hinted at production problems.