iPad to Arrive in U.S. on April 3rd
Apple has announced the U.S. shipping date for the Wi-Fi-only iPad: 3 April 2010. The company will start taking orders at the online Apple Store and at Apple retail stores on 12 March 2010. Models that have both Wi-Fi and 3G will ship in late April.
In a press release, Apple said that the iBooks app and iBookstore will be available on 3 April 2010 as well, but only in the United States. Oddly, the free iBooks app won’t be included on the iPad and must be downloaded separately.
Apple will ship the iPad in both of its network flavors in late April in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but will be revealed in April.
Apple will also ship the iPad in more countries later this year. However, the Wi-Fi flavor of the iPad will work worldwide, and the version with 3G has an unlocked, swappable micro-SIM slot. (The micro-SIM format isn’t yet widely available, however.)
"Oddly, the free iBooks app won't be included on the iPad and must be downloaded separately."
I think the strategy is to separate the updates of the iBook application from the iPad updates so that fine tuning of the media purchasing does not depend on iPad system updates.
Maybe, but that would seem to reduce the uptake and usage of the iBooks app significantly, and thus sales of books, which can't be Apple's intent. I'm looking into this more.
The obvious reason from my perspective is that iBooks functionality is only currently announced for the USA, so to have the iBooks app installed by default on all iPads would be unwise. As a comparison, iTunes music store didn't go live in Australia until several years(!) after the USA. But at least with iTunes you could still rip your own music and use it. With the iBook app, it seems to be useless without the iBook store.
That's an interesting point. I assume you will have to provide an iTunes account with a U.S. billing address to use the software, and Apple may have wanted to make that a very explicit step at this stage.