Apple Store begins taking new iPad WiFi and 4G orders for March 16 delivery

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The online Apple Store has begun taking preorders for the new iPad, with color options, 16, 32 and 64GB storage options, and WiFi or mobile 4G options all priced identical to last year's iPad 2 (which is now discounted $100).

The store remained offline for about two hours following the company's unveiling of the new iPad, and even after going up, the site has failed to respond for some, generating "oops" error messages, recalling the ordering issues Apple experienced under heavy loads for previous iPad and iPhone releases.

Apple is currently limiting preorders to two per customer.

However, when it is available, the site offers a single 16GB WiFi iPad 2 option for $399 in black or white, and the new iPad model in either color, any of three capacities in WiFi versions for $499 (16GB), $599 (32GB) and $699 (64GB).

A mobile option supporting 4G (and falling back to 3G EvDo or UMTS/EDGE/GSM) on either AT&T or Verizon is available for $129 more, at $629 (16GB), $729 (32GB) and $829 (64GB).

The mobile versions support either AT&T or Verizon-style 4G LTE service in the US, with international versions supporting existing 3G service or 4G LTE with select carriers. As with previous iPad mobile models, the new iPad offers no-commitment data plans with no long term contracts.

AT&T mobile plans range from $15 for 250MB to $30 for 2GB to $50 for 5GB, while Verizon's plans offer a $30 2GB option, $50 for 5GB, or $80 for 10GB monthly.