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Friday, April 30, 2010, 08:30 am PT (11:30 am ET)

Apple Stores will close from 4-5 p.m. to prepare for iPad 3G launch

All of Apple's U.S. retail stores will close for an hour today, between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. local time, in order to prepare for the official launch of the iPad 3G.

Apple updated all of its domestic retail store hours this week to note that locations will be closed for an hour on Friday "to prepare for the arrival of iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G." The product is set to launch at 5 p.m. local time.

The launch is different from the one earlier this month for the Wi-Fi-only model, which occurred on a Saturday. For that launch, stores began selling the iPad at 9 a.m. and UPS had special Saturday delivery for those who preordered online.

On Thursday, those who preordered the iPad with 3G began receiving notifications that their order had shipped. For this delivery, Apple has employed FedEx, and users should be receiving their 3G models today.

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.

3G store hours