iPad Available April 3, Pre-orders Start March 12

Apple finally announced an official launch date for the iPad: April 3. Customers will be able to pre-order their iPad starting on March 12.

While customers in the U.S. will be able to pre-order the Wi-Fi only and the Wi-Fi plus 3G model on March 12, only the the Wi-Fi model will be available on Saturday, April 3. The Wi-Fi plus 3G model will ship in late 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. Apple said the iPad will arrive in more 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.

Apple introduced the iPad at a special media event in January, but at the time would only say that the Wi-Fi version would ship some time in March.

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.

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.