iPad 2 goes on sale at 5 p.m. Friday in retail stores, 1 a.m. Pacific online

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Apple Inc.’s iPad 2 goes on sale Friday, and in a potentially long-line-generating move, the new tablet won’t be available in retail stores until 5 p.m.

Apple said Thursday that the iPad 2 will go on sale at 1 a.m. Pacific time and 4 a.m. Eastern time in its online store, although online pre-orders are still not available. Previously, Apple hadn’t stated what time the iPad 2 would be available online.


The process is a bit different from Apple’s release of the first-generation iPad last year. The tablet hit store shelves in a Wi-Fi only model April 3, followed by a Wi-Fi and 3G version April 30. Since then, Apple has sold more than 15 million iPads.

On Day One of the iPad 2, both Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi plus 3G flavors will be available. They will be sold at Target, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and, of course, AT&T and Verizon stores.

And, like Apple, many retailers are going to start selling the iPad 2 online soon after Apple’s 1 a.m. Friday launch.

Prices for the iPad 2 are the same as that of the original iPad. The iPad 2 with only Wi-Fi sells for $499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 32GB model and $699 for the 64GB model. The iPad 2 with Wi-Fi and 3G sells for $629 for the 16GB model, $729 for the 32GB model and $829 for the 64GB model.


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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles