Commence the iPad Pre-Order!

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“distasteful” app — with ipadmoney_smallADOTAS – Steve Jobs promised me an iPad in late March, but it turns out I won’t be able to get my greedy hands on it until April 3. April 3?!? Oh man, I’m about to get all Veruca Salt in this piece — I want my iPad NOW!!!

Apparently the rumors swirling about a delayed iPad shipment are true — it’s going to be a whole week late. I guess in the digital insta-culture that’s a travesty, but mama taught me the best things come to those who wait. An extra week for the “magical and revolutionary” (Apple’s own descriptors) iPad? Deal, tech geeks — go write a Chrome plugin.

However, the iPad pre-sale launches next week, March 12, and I’m excited to see how many fish take the bait. Apple junkies have a tendency to buy the latest Jobs doodad no matter what the price — but $499 for the smallest (only 16GB of memory) is not a bad deal, right smack in the middle of the price range of an iPhone and a Notebook.

Of course, the $499 model is only wifi-enabled — iPads with 3G capacity will appear in late April, with price tags significantly higher. So the pre-order will also tell us about the mobile consumer’s preferences — unfortunately, the 3G network to be utilized is AT&T, which any New Yorker will tell you is shite (remember when Luke Wilson was the tolerable Wilson brother?), and considering that free public wifi is growing in bounds (thank you, Mickey D’s), why bother paying an absurd amount for a network that screws you over more often than not?

Just like Google’s Nexus One being available for any carrier (though at an unreasonable price), consumers forgoing the 3G hookup could further signify a power shift in the hardware makers favor at carriers’ expense. After years of feeling violated by carriers, I doubt the public is going to shed any tears of sympathy. Consider this — people love Apple, but does anybody love AT&T? Verizon? T-Mobile? At best we tolerate them, but more likely they’re loathed.

Around 150,000 of the App Store’s finest will be available for the iPad — but no iWobbly or any other 12 apps specially designed for the new toy. Amazon is likely shaking in its boots though because one of those is iBooks, and Apple has already partnered with some major publishing houses such as Hachette, HaperCollins, Macmillan and Penguin among others. Since the iPad’s announcement the Kindle’s days have seem numbered — dead device walking.

With the pre-order we’ll start getting a true picture of whether the iPad is all hype or represents a significant game change in the mobile space. It’s okay if you have to go to the bathroom because you’re so excited.

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