Tuesday, April 20, 2010, 05:40 am PT (08:40 am ET)
Apple's Wi-Fi + 3G iPad models available in US on April 30Apple announced on Tuesday that its 3G-capable iPads will be delivered to U.S. customers who have preordered on Friday, April 30. The device will also be available in the company's retail stores the same day, starting at 5 p.m.
The 3G iPad models carry a $130 premium over their Wi-Fi-only counterparts. The 16GB model starts at $629, the 32GB capacity is $729, and the high-end 64GB offering is $829.
Apple also revealed that users of the 3G model will see an estimated 9 hours of battery life when surfing the Web using a 3G data network. Surfing the Web on Wi-Fi offers a slightly longer estimated capacity of 10 hours.
As with the Wi-Fi iPad launch, Apple retail stores will offer free personal setup service to every customer who buys the device in-store. U.S. retail stores are also hosting iPad workshops to help customers learn more about the product.
Some users this week began seeing charges on their credit card for preordered 3G iPads. Apple also began sending e-mails to customers to assure them that their purchase was still on track for its late-April release date. But beginning this week, new preorders for the device had an estimated ship date of May 7.
Though the U.S. launch remains on track, last week Apple revealed that it was forced to delay the international launch of the iPad due to high demand stateside. Customers overseas will be able to get their hands on an iPad — both the Wi-Fi and 3G models — at the end of May. The Wi-Fi-only version of the iPad sold more than a half-million units in its first week of availability.
In its press release Tuesday, Apple reiterated that the iPad will be available at the end of May in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, and the U.K. International pricing will be announced when the company begins taking online preorders on May 10.
Though the 3G-capable iPad is not locked to any specific carrier, its internal radio is only compatible with AT&T's high-speed 3G wireless network in the U.S. AT&T is offering no-contract data plans for the iPad that run $15 per month for 250MB of bandwidth, or $30 a month for unlimited access.
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