Better make sure you've got coffee.
Those of you looking to buy your iPad 2 online may want to start gearing up for a late night now. Apple has just sent out a press release confirming that the second generation of iPad will be available through the online Apple Store at 1 AM PT. Customers who choose to go through the retail store will get a free Personal Setup.
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Apple confirmed once more that in-store sales will start at 5 PM at all 236 Apple retail stores nationwide. The new tab will also be available at AT&T and Verizon stores, as well as Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart and other "Apple Authorized Resellers".
I've called nineteen Best Buys in five states. A little more than half (11) expected to have the iPad 2 in by launch day. None of them had any information on how many units were being shipped to individual stores. If you plan to buy at a non-Apple retail outlet, call ahead of time to ensure they'll have launch models.
You'll want to have a "back-up" store too. This is America. It isn't hard to find strip malls with a Best Buy and a Target within walking distance of each other.
Apple Stores will likely have better selection and will certainly have more peripheral products, like the smart covers, for you to choose from. But expect the lines there to be commensurately longer. If you plan to order online, you'd better be up and ready to order by one AM. The iPad 2 is going to sell fast.
If you still can't make up your mind between the Verizon and the AT&T 3G iPad 2, this article may help you out. If you're on the fence about whether a new iPad is worth it, Shane has an article for you. Be sure to come back tomorrow- we'll be out at the lines ahead of the launch, taking video and talking to Apple fanatics.