The iPad 3, or whatever Apple decides to call it, is going to be announced on March 7. We know that already. What we don’t know yet is how long after that it will arrive at retail. There is plenty of speculation, and we have heard a few rumors and reports.
Let’s take a look at some of the stuff we’ve heard, and see what sounds most reasonable. Shall we? Let’ shall.
Rumor 1: Immediately.
The first rumor says the the iPad 3 may be available immediately after the press event. This is either day of or within a day or two of the announcement. This is presumably because we’ve heard that iPads have already been shipping and arriving at the ports of various countries. This leads some to believe that this may be a reason to expect the iPad 3 to be available in stores the day of the announcement or very, very soon after. While it’s indeed possible, and that would be quite the announcement to hear from Apple, we doubt it’s true. If anything, pre-orders will open up day of at the soonest. We don’t expect people to be able to go to Best Buy on March 7th and pick up an iPad 3.
Rumor 2: March 11
The next rumor deals with a Best Buy inventory system. At least that’s what the picture is claimed to be. March 11th can definitely happen, but we aren’t going to bet on it. We think that this can be one of two things: 1) the screen is completely fake, and this date was made up by someone wanting to pull our chains; 2) The iPad 2 was released March 11th, and this is likely just a placeholder in Best Buy’s inventory system until an official date is announced. We think number two is more likely, and that the retailer will update their system the day the tablet is announced. (credit: TUAW)
Rumor 3: March 16
Another rumor, this one coming from the Houston Chronicle, says that the tablet may release on March 16th. This is after the store was held back slightly due to delays in the construction schedule. It was then set to open on March 17th, but has since been pushed up to March 16th, a Friday. This may actually be to coincide with the release of the iPad 3. This is very possible, and Apple can be planning to have the store open the day of the new tablet’s release. This could be a nice way to open the store. However, we just hope all those new employees are ready to deal with the eager iPad 3-wanting crowd.
When Will it Launch?
If we had to guess, we would go with March 16th. This is just over a week after the announcement. This gives adequate time for pre-orders and is in line with the release schedule for the iPad 2. It was announced and launched just over as week later. We expect something similar for the iPad 3. What do you think?