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.
April 19, 2010; 9:47 AM ET
Categories: Gadgets , Mobile
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