No Apple iPad 2 pre-orders; online sales begin March 11, when the tablet computer hits stores
Apple's iPad 2 -- unveiled Wednesday morning with new, evolutionary features in place -- will arrive in stores March 11.
And when it does, in both white and black colorways, it will almost certainly produce lines of eager consumers looking to spend at least $499 for the new tablet computer.
Those who want one on day one will have to line up when it goes on sale March 11 at 5 p.m.
The absence of pre-orders is a bit odd because Apple offered pre-orders for its iPhones andfor the first-generation iPad.
The pre-order-free plan from Apple left many consumers irritated and others confused, with some venting on Twitter, and a few Technology Blog commenters chiming in as well. Apple officials were unavailable for comment Wednesday.
"We won't be able to pre-order until March 11th....I wish they would have made this more clear in the presentation," wrote a Technology Blog commenter going by the name Kristalynn. "However, if anyone is interested the website is back up and it makes it look like you can pre-order now, but you can't. Kind of a let down. Guess we will be waiting until March 11th."
Another commenter, named Ted, was left with questions this morning in response to release date news on live blog coverage of the iPad 2 unveiling.
"I am wondering even I place my order on March 11th 0:00am sharp, when I can physically get the iPad2?," Ted wrote. "And it says the iPad 2 will be in all retail store at 5am on 11th also, but I remember when iPad 1 launch, everywhere were out of stock & the staff in Apple Shop weren't able to let me know when exactly I can get it.... :("
A Twitter user named Josh speculated that the move was being made to ensure a release that lives up to the hype and long lines of previous iPhone and iPad launches -- a spectacle the Verizon iPhone 4 launch didn't have.
"No pre-order for iPad 2 = huge lines next Friday. They learned from the ho-hum launch of the Verizon iPhone. They want the spectacle," Josh tweeted from his @geekpondering account.
Tony Santos, a frustrated Twitter user, tweeted, "I don't understand why I can't pre-order an iPad 2. Don't you want my money Apple? Please let me give it to you."
The iPad 2 is arriving about a month earlier than the original iPad, which first went on sale in a WiFi-only model April 9, 2010. The 3G iPad didn't make it to stores until April 30, 2010.
On March 11, both the WiFi-only and the 3G-capable iPad 2s, for both AT&T and Verizon, will go on sale.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Photo: Apple CEO Steve Jobs appears Wednesday at a media event to introduce the second generation iPad in San Francisco. Credit: Kimihiro Hoshino/AFP/Getty Images
Images: Apple iPad 2 in the Apple online store. Credit: Apple