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Apple’s eagerly anticipated iPad will be available in the United States on April 3, the company said Friday.

Wi-Fi models of the tablet-style computer will go on sale that Saturday, while ones with Wi-Fi and 3G networks will be released later in the month.

Customers can start pre-ordering the iPad on Apple’s online store on March 12.

“iPad is something completely new,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a Friday post on the company’s Web site. “We’re excited for customers to get their hands on this magical and revolutionary product and connect with their apps and content in a more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before.”

 

    It has a nearly 10-inch screen, runs existing apps from the Apple apps store and is available in 16-gigabyte, 32-gigabyte and 64-gigabyte versions. It’s a half-inch thick and weighs a pound-and-a-half.

    Prices start at $499 for the 16-gigabyte version, $599 for the 32-gig version and $699 for the 64, Jobs said at the company’s glitzy announcement in San Francisco, California.

    The iPad will be released in late April in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK, Apple said in the post on its site.

    Prices in those countries will be announced in April and iPad will ship in additional countries later this year

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