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3G iPad ship dates emerge; so does prototype of next iPhone?

The mobile-broadband version of Apple's iPad will ship May 7 if you order it today, according to a notice on the company's online store.

That's not the "late April" schedule Apple cited just before the WiFi-only iPad went on sale April 3, but it is within a few days of the Cupertino, Calif., company's originally stated goal of shipping the 3G model of its touchscreen tablet 30 days after the WiFi version's launch. (Update, 4/20, 3:27 p.m.: Apple announced an official ship date, April 30, with hardware going on sale in its stores at 5 p.m.)


And if you placed an order early enough, you may still get a 3G iPad -- formally, "iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G" -- by the end of the month. Two Apple news sites, Mac Rumors and AppleInsider, have posted excerpts from e-mails sent by the company confirming late-April deliveries for people who pre-ordered the device.

Other would-be buyers will have to wait longer. Apple announced last week that it had "made the difficult decision to postpone the international launch of iPad by one month, until the end of May" and would not announce prices or take pre-orders for it until May 10.

Users in Israel face a different obstacle: The government has banned the iPad outright. Touch down in Tel Aviv with one, and you risk having customs impound it during your stay and charge a daily fee for the privilege. Authorities have cited concerns about the iPad's American-spec WiFi (which Apple disputes); a report in the newspaper Haaretz today points to worries that the iPad would interfere with frequencies used by the Israeli military.

The 3G iPad will start at $629 for a unit with 16 gigabytes of storage, $130 more than the price of the WiFi model. You'll be able to buy no-contract access from AT&T Wireless, a month at a time, in two increments: $14.99 for 250 megabytes of data and $29.99 for unlimited use.

I've got a request into Apple PR to trade the WiFi iPad I reviewed earlier this month for a 3G model. Here's what I plan to test on that model: the speed and coverage of AT&T's service; battery life with 3G active; how easy it is to manage prepaid plans; and the availability and compatibility of "Micro-SIM" subscriber-identity-module cards from other carriers that might provide alternatives to AT&T. Got anything else you'd like to know about this model? Post your requests in the comments.

Meanwhile, this morning Gizmodo posted a fascinating report about discovering and dissecting what seems to be a prototype of the next iPhone, which writer Jason Chen wrote was found in a Redwood City, Calif., bar. (Take a moment to think of the hapless Apple employee who made the ultimate career-limiting move by losing this thing.) The device includes a front-facing camera; a flash for its outward-facing camera; a higher-resolution screen; a Micro-SIM slot like the iPad's; a more rectangular design; a back panel made out of some sort of non-metallic material (perhaps ceramic); and a more angular design. And no, there's nothing here to suggest this will run on Verizon.

By Rob Pegoraro  |  April 19, 2010; 9:47 AM ET
Categories:  Gadgets , Mobile  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: AP says write 'website,' not 'Web site'
Next: News flash: Verizon thinks the Internet-access market is just fine


Is there any chance if you already have an AT&T data plan with an iphone that you could somehow use that instead of paying an additional 30 bucks for iPad data plan?
I doubt it but that would be a much better incentive, or even like 5 bucks more a month instead of 30.

Posted by: adbspam | April 19, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

You said you were going to test the 3G coverage. I have read the iPad Wi-Fi performance is not as good as that on the iPhone because the antenna assembly is behind the "apple" on the back, perhaps somewhat obstructing the radio signals. I guess the 3G antenna is on the same assembly, so I wonder if there is a similar performance deficit. A test might be to take the iPad to a location, maybe in the middle of your building, where an iPhone 3G barely works and see if the iPad still works there.

Posted by: SteveDC1 | April 19, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Will the 3G iPad allow you to order and download e-books using 3G even without a data plan sort of like Amazon's Kindle?

Posted by: TravelMan | April 19, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

What baffles me is the placement of the antenna assembly... Why would you place it in the center of the device? It makes sense for the iPhone because it's very small.. but you know what kills 80% of all WiFi signals? Glass. Glass is a solid, heavy, dense substance that radio waves to not like very much... so if the Antenna is in the CENTER of the iPad... that means there is only 1 side that can get good signal, when turned 180 degrees from the signal, the signal will drop 80% (sounds familiar?)

Why wouldn't they have run a wire/Antenna around the edge of the iPad like with every other Laptop..? Well because they HAD to taper the edges down so it's nice and rounded... Form over Function, as always... though this is enough of an impact in function that Apple will fix it...

in the iPad 2 for another $499 THANKS EARLY ADOPTERS!!

Posted by: zithero | April 19, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

career limiting move? more like life ending. i think his career is the least of his worries right now..he's probably stuffed inside a file cabinet in Steve Jobs office right now...

Posted by: fa836659 | April 19, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

So it was a bad move to be one of people standing in line a few weeks ago to buy one of the first iPads? Gee, what a surprise.

Posted by: Booyah5000 | April 19, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

WaPo hacks still pimping for Apple I see.

Any front page stories about new Dell product introductions? No? HP? Lenovo? Acer? Toshiba? No? Hmm?

Or is it just that you are completely in the bag for Apple?

Posted by: screwjob11 | April 19, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

CUSTOMER SERVICE Existing wireless customer? Contact us by phone or email. By Phone
Customer Service
1-800-331-0500 or 611 from your wireless phone
Hearing Impaired

So when is At&t & the F.c.c an the rest going to start talking about some of the reason they went to court that they are not telling you. Could it be the EMF plague, the increase of cases of EMF related mental Illnesses mis diagnoses from the problems with the wire-less grid as more cell towers are put up to take care of the load for Cell phones. When are they going to talk about reason the old T.V. Wire-less systems was taken down this past year or so. An to think Obama the anti Zionist seeks to use the S Chip that will add to the over all problems.

The Big Obama nationalist Democrat Union Run Job controlled Drug Companies do not like the free market Health care systems, many of the drugs made like sedatives’ are made from the Study of Hemp Pot Weed an or Opium, many of the drugs made have many more side affects then the natural forms, I add this if Weed is going to be Illegal for one then why are companies an Colleges let to use it to study, a lot of the sedatives’ made are made because of the increase of noise and over stimuli of the ears like the EMF plague or the Cell Phone. And to think Obama is seeking to use cold war emf war fare wisdom to push for the use of the S Chip ,There is no war on Drugs the only war is the one in the White house and the Stock Brokers over who controls the flow of money to be taxed, Vote out The nationalist control freaks, one sure fire way to stop Obama is to return to Voluntary Taxes there is no war on united states soil and the System will Change

Posted by: WindSongNauck | April 19, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Will I be able to work my fantasy baseball teams on ESPN....?

Posted by: robinhood2 | April 19, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

to screwjob11: You said:

WaPo hacks still pimping for Apple I see.

Any front page stories about new Dell product introductions? No? HP? Lenovo? Acer? Toshiba? No? Hmm?

Or is it just that you are completely in the bag for Apple?
When was the last time you saw folks standing in line overnight to buy a new Dell product, or an HP, Lenovo, Acer, Toshiba? WaPo is not pimping for Apple--they are reporting on something that is newsworthy based on strong interest generated by the public. Believe me, if there were lines of folks waiting to buy a Dell, WaPo would report on it.

Posted by: billylockwood | April 19, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

ah, they probably left it in that bar on purpose to get better pub. (no pun intended)

Posted by: kls1 | April 19, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Rob, as a college student, the iPad w/ WiFi+3G looks like it might be a good investment for me, but I'm having a hard time figuring out what I would be getting for my money. How much does 250MB/month get you? Most of my campus has WiFi, but there are the occasional dead spots. With casual web-browsing and near-constant Gmail use, how close would I be getting to my monthly data limit?


Posted by: docmcconl | April 19, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse


Please get a Sprint 4G battery powered wireless hub and test that vs. ATT 3G on the iPad.

It looks to be an alternative to getting ATT service and providing 4G broadband. Will that be noticeably faster in actual usage?

Could get a low end iPad without 3G and use extra cash to get Sprints 4G service.


Posted by: BrionLutz | April 19, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

I love how people comment on having "heard" of wi-fi problem. Your opinion is uninformed at best and ignorance in the worst case.

I have a wifi iPad. It runs as fast as my iPhone running a speed test app. I have had no problems connecting or maintaining a connection.

"SteveDC1" who "heard" of problems needs better sources of info. I have one and it has worked on my linksys and a friend's fios router.

"zithero" doesn't know what he is talking about. Which is why, I suppose, he isn't designing hardware equipment.

Most of the people spouting off about the iPad are not true tech professionals. They are instead dilettantes.

Posted by: eternalemperor | April 19, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh, add my vote to saying the media (Rob included) overall has done a good job covering the iPad. The thing is certainly neat and worth talking about, although there is almost no chance that I would waste my money on one. I thought it was covered with appropriate levels of skepticism.

I suppose if both the Apple lovers and the Apple haters are accusing you of being in the tank for the other side, you've found the right balance.

Posted by: Booyah5000 | April 20, 2010 2:44 AM | Report abuse

Please!Enough about IPhones, Ipads, IWants, Iwasas, Igonnas, and Ineedas! Surely there are other things going in the tech world!

Posted by: joeblotnik49 | April 20, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

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