If you're planning to buy an iPad this weekend and you haven't pre-ordered you have a little more time to catch your breath and think calmly about whether you really want to pay top dollar to have Apple's It Device first, brave possible long lines and dole out extra money beyond the cost of the iPad? If so, then as you were. If not, then consider the following:
Skip the lines. Who knows if Apple plans to stock plenty of iPads on the first day of sale. There may be just enough for those who pre-ordered before last week or made reservations. If there are leftovers, the store will begin selling them to those who may be standing in line, including the die hard Apple geeks and those with cash to burn on the latest "thing." And remember, even if only relative small amount of iPads sell out, that will be good news and good press for Apple. Expect more units to hit shelves in the near future.
AT&T data contract, plus the higher cost for 3G iPads. Here are the prices for the units: iPad Wi-Fi models, $499 (for 16GB), $599 (for 32GB), and $699 (for 64GB). The Wi-Fi + 3G models, $629 (for 16GB), $729 for (32GB) and $829 (for 64GB).
Competitors: There will be plenty, including from HP, Lenovo and others, not to mention a 7-inch tablet (compared to the larger iPad 10-inch models) with 3G, WiFi and bluetooth connectivity from AT&T and a South Florida company called OpenPeak. That tablet will be called OpenTablet and should be available later this year.
Expect iPad sticker shock. While many iPhone apps are free, you may be used to paying up to $1.99 for the better versions. But many of the coolest iPad apps will be in the $25 to $50 range, and some costing much more. And even those that are available on iPhone will be more expensive for the iPad. Example: Flight Control HD is 99 cents for the iPhone, $4.99 for the iPad. But look it this way, the more expensive apps should look and operate better on the more advanced iPad.
Accessories. Don't just look at list price. You're gonna want the extra iPad goodies that will be available in small amounts this weekend and in loads in coming weeks and months. Think cases, car chargers and TV connectors. Think tens, hundreds of extra bucks. Think iPad and how much it costs to carry the it thing of the tech day.
What do you say? If you're not doubtful by now, then have at it. Hope you get ahold of a unit of your dreams. If so, let us know what you think.