Apple: For People Who Pre-Ordered, iPad is Free

In an astonishing display of corporate selflessness, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced today that everyone who has already pre-ordered an iPad will have their money refunded, and they’ll receive the company’s new tablet on April 3 free of charge.

Jobs appeared at a press conference in Cupertino this morning, saying “It’s a way of thanking the throngs of devoted Apple fans so foolish–er, trusting, that they’d burn hundreds of dollars on a gadget they’ve never even touched, sight unseen.”

“We’ve turned all of your iPad pre-orders,” continued Jobs, making air-quotes with his fingers, “into ‘free-orders’.”

No doubt this “free-order” move is a way to bolster goodwill for Apple. At the 2007 launch of their last must-have gadget, the iPhone, Apple charged $600 for the product, only to slash the price by a third several months later, making laughingstocks of every early adopter.

Apple also surely hopes this move will cause consumers to loosen their purse strings when they introduce their next major product, which may or may not turn out to be a total catastrophe at launch.

Corporate strategy aside, Jobs hinted at his own personal reasons for this action.

“To go down in history as the world’s most captivating public speaker, its handsomest CEO, and the visionary who spearheaded mankind’s sprint toward a sci-fi future,” said Jobs, “means little to me.”

Clad in his usual Bruce Wayne-esque outfit of jeans, black turtleneck, and garish white socks, he paused dramatically. “I’ve realized that what matters most to me is that I eat gourmet food, drink pricey wine, and absorb as much quasi-religious worship from you mortals as possible.”

Then he held aloft a gleaming iPad and intoned: “What better way to bask in the blinding light of mass adulation than to give away awesome sh!% for free?”

One thing’s for sure: the move will give people who didn’t pre-order an iPad a stinging case of iJealousy.

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