Apple Inc.'s iPad tablet computer hits U.S. shelves on Saturday, but fans who want the new touch-screen gadget shipped directly to them must wait a week.
The company began taking preorders for the iPad on March 12, promising to get the device to eager buyers by its store launch date of April 3rd. Customers who placed pre-orders by March 27 will receive the device by that date, where Saturday delivery is available, but Apple said Sunday that new pre-orders won't be shipped out until April 12.
The Cupertino, Calif., company declined to give a reason for the shipping delay, but said would-be customers can still pre-order the iPad for in-store pickup on April 3, or purchase the device in stores that day.
The iPads going on sale will connect to Wi-Fi networks only and cost $499, $599 or $699, depending on the data storage capacity.
Versions that also can connect to "3G" cellular networks are expected to go on sale in late April for $629, $729 or $829. International releases also are planned for later in April.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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