March 16, 2012, 7:05 AM — Apple's new iPad is out of stock online, and so the only way to get one on launch day is to brave the iLines. This means waking up early, praying for good weather, and huddling with strangers for a few hours--all so you can have the latest gadget before everyone else.
Still interested? Getting a new iPad on Friday won't be easy, but it can be done. Here's what you need to know before you head out the door.
New iPad Basics
The new iPad has a "retina" display with four times as many pixels as the iPad 2. Its A5X chip has the same dual-core processor as its predecessor, but it's got a quad-core graphics processor and, according to reports, 1GB of RAM. The rear-facing camera is now 5 megapixels, and features image stabilization, face detection, and auto-focus.
The design is a bit thicker and heavier than last year's iPad, but otherwise looks the same. Prices are the same as previous years: starting at $500 for a 16GB, Wi-Fi only model, and starting at $630 for a 16GB, Wi-Fi + 4G LTE (from AT&T or Verizon) model. Reviewers have mostly been impressed with Apple's new tablet.
The Apple Store Opens Early
Apple stores will open at 8 a.m. on Friday, and will sell iPads on a first-come, first-serve basis. Customers will be limited to two iPads each, so don't get any ideas about snagging a dozen and selling them on eBay. Apple stores will likely have the longest lines, but they'll also have the most units in stock, making them a safe bet if you wake up early enough.
Verizon and AT&T
Verizon will begin selling 4G iPads online at 3:01 a.m. Eastern time on Friday, and in stores at 8 a.m. local time. The carrier does not require a data plan, and does not charge activation fees. See Verizon's Website for data plan details.
AT&T hasn't said what time it will start selling the 4G iPad online, but stores will sell them first-come, first-serve basis during regular business hours. There's no activation fee, but AT&T requires you to purchase at least one month of data with the new iPad. See AT&T's Website for data plan details.
Other Retail Stores
The new iPad will be available at Best Buy, Radio Shack, Sam's Club, Target, and Walmart. The lines will likely be shorter than the Apple Stores, but these stores will have a smaller inventory.
Here's a quick overview of each retail store selling the new iPad: