Those hoping to get their hands on an iPad 2 early Friday will have to wait a few more hours. Retailers confirmed today that the next-generation Apple tablet will be available starting at 5pm local time.
"Be the first to get the next iPad. This Friday, March 11, at 5:00pm," Apple wrote in a Wednesday e-mail. "The Apple Retail Store is the best place to experience iPad. Our Specialists will show you around the features, help you choose the perfect model, and set everything up just the way you like. So you'll be up and running before you leave the store."
For iPad enthusiasts who do not live near an Apple Store, Best Buy and Target will also be selling the tablet starting at 5pm.
"The #iPad2 goes on sale at 5pm local time on 3/11/11 @Target! We'll pencil-in downloading the Target app at 5:01 pm," Target tweeted this week.
Best Buy said it will carry black and white Wi-Fi versions as well as Wi-Fi+3G options for AT&T and Verizon. They will be available in-store only; Best Buy said on its FAQ page that a pre-order option will not be available.
The retailer will offer two Geek Squad Black Tie Protection (GSBTP) plans: standard and accidental damage from handling. Both plans are good for three years; pricing depends on the plan selected.
The iPad 2 is also eligible for Best Buy's Buy Back Program. Customers pay $69.99 for a two-year insurance policy of sorts. In that time period, customers may receive up to 50 percent of the product's original purchase price paid in the form of a Best Buy gift card, valid for six months.
If shoppers buy GSBTP and Buy Back at the same time, Best Buy said customers will save 50 percent on the price of Buy Back.