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Third-generation iPad: What you need to know

Macworld Staff | March 9, 2012
With Apple’s Wednesday introduction of the third-generation iPad, many of the questions people and pundits have spent the past few months obsessing over have been answered—but not all.

What configurations are available, and how much will each cost?

As with the iPad 2, the differences between available models are the wireless capabilities, the screen-bezel color, and the storage capacity. Specifically, the new iPad is available in Wi-Fi-only or Wi-Fi + 4G models, the latter for AT&T (GSM) or Verizon (CDMA); in black or white; and with 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of storage (sorry, there’s still no 128GB model). Yes, this means there are still 18 different models available, at least in the U.S.

As is common for Apple products, the new iPad models have the same price points as the previous models: The 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB Wi-Fi-only models will sell for $499, $599, and $699, respectively, while the corresponding Wi-Fi + 4G models will sell for $629, $729, and $829.

What’s this about a new AppleCare+ option for iPad?

AppleCare+, which debuted with the iPhone 4S last fall, is a version of AppleCare that covers accidental damage. Like standard AppleCare plans, the new AppleCare+ for iPad provides two full years of hardware warranty-repair coverage and telephone support (compared to 90 days of phone support and one year of hardware coverage for the iPad’s stock warranty). But AppleCare+ also covers, over that two-year period, two incidents of accidental damage—for each incident, Apple will replace a damaged iPad with a new or refurbished unit for a fee of $49.

You must purchase AppleCare+ within 30 days of the purchase of the iPad itself.

Will Apple be keeping the iPad 2 around at a lower price, as it does with previous-generation iPhone models?

Yes, the company will continue to sell the 16GB iPad 2, in black or white, at a lower price. The Wi-Fi-only model will be priced at $399, and the 3G-capable version will sell for $529—each $100 lower than before.

So when can I get my hands on a new iPad?

Apple says the new iPad models will be available on March 16 in the U.S. and several other countries, including Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, and Hong Kong. One week later it’ll roll out in 25 more countries.

Great, where can I place my order?

If you’re in a country where the new iPad will be available March 16, you can pre-order from the online Apple Store now.

 

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