Apple Announces Official iPad Release Date

If you haven’t begun gathering all the loose change you can find, it’s time to start. Apple announced today that they’re releasing the iPad in the US on Saturday, April 3, with the 3G version coming later in the month.

Preorders will be available next week, on Friday, March 12. Both models will be available for preorder online at www.apple.com, or you can head over to one of Apple’s brick-and-mortar stores to reserve the Wi-Fi only version.

The suggested retail price for the Wi-Fi only models will be $499 for 16GB, $599 for 32GB, $699 for 64GB. The Wi-Fi + 3G models will run you $629 for 16GB, $729 for 32GB and $829 for 64GB.

For those in other countries (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK), you’ll see both versions of the device hitting shelves in late April, with pricing to be announced closer to launch.

Also confirmed is the day-one availability of the iBooks app, which is meant to give Amazon’s Kindle a run for its money. However, instead of coming pre-installed on the device, iBooks will be released on the App Store and will have to be downloaded separately.

It’s not clear how many non-Apple apps will be available at launch. The iPad development kit has been out for a while, but most developers won’t be able to try out their apps on an actual iPad until they get their own devices on launch day. We’ll keep you posted as we find out more.