Apple iPad Pre-orders Kick Off on March 12

Apple plans to begin taking pre-orders and reservations for the iPad on Friday, March 12. The company hasn't said yet what time on Friday the pre-order program will kick off, and so far the iPad Web page is still providing the option to notify users when more information is available.

The iPad is a tablet computer that runs a version of the iPhone operating system and includes a 9.7-inch multitouch display. It supports movie and music playback, ebooks, and most iPhone-compatible applications, and will be available with Wi-Fi, or Wi-Fi and 3G wireless data support.

The Wi-Fi version of the iPad will be available on Saturday, April 3, in the United States, and the Wi-Fi plus 3G version will be available near the end of April. Customers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the U.K. will be able to get their hands on both models in late April, and in other countries later in the year.

Customers that pre-order an iPad can choose to have their tablet delivered, or reserved for pickup at their local Apple Retail Store.

Pricing for the iPad starts at US$499 for the Wi-Fi only version with 16GB of storage, $599 for 32GB and $699 for 64GB. The Wi-Fi plus 3G model costs $629 for the 16GB model, $729 for the 32GB model, and $829 for the 64GB model.