The Examiner is reporting that Apple store employees will receive iPad training on, or around, March 10th. They are quoting various sources including an Apple Store manager in Southern California “who wishes not to be named”.
This seems to tie up with the anticipated date of the iPad launch. The currently rumoured release date of March 26th seems likely as Apple tend to launch new products on Fridays and it’s the last Friday of the month. An advertising drive, perhaps focussing on the iPads eBook capabilities is said to be planned for the 15th of March. This gives plenty of time for Apple retail staff to get up to speed, and public awareness to be reinvigorated.
Earlier rumors citing production problems for the iPad, initially reported in early February by various industry watchers seem to have abated somewhat. Those rumours suggested reduced launch numbers from an estimated 800,000 units down to a more conservative 300,000. Was this a controlled leak to spur on those early sales?
Rumor also has it that people who buy an iPad on the first day, after going through the traditional ritual of camping outside Apple stores, will receive a “special gift”. Bearing in mind that it’s already been suggested that Apple will be ramping up advertising around this time and focussing on the eBook capabilities of the iPad, perhaps the mystery gift is a book token? This might tie up nicely as a joint promotion with any publishers Apple has managed to sign up since the iPad’s initial announcement. Whilst also serving to wet people’s appetite for this new form of content Apple will be pushing.
No news has been forthcoming on advance orders for Developers happening any time soon. That subject has been the cause of some consternation in the Developer community as people scramble to have dedicated iPad apps ready for distribution as close to launch as possible. Currently the only way to test applications for the iPad is with the Simulator provided in the iPhone SDK, available only to paid up iPhone Developers. Even the Simulator itself seems to be a bit of a shifting landscape currently as partially ready versions of Safari and Photo have popped up only recently in the SDK. This beggars the question, what dedicated software will be available at launch for the iPad? We know of course that it will have access to the 150,000 Apps already available in the App Store.
It also seems that accessory manufacturers may well be holding their collective breath right now, as anything they have potentially manufactured for simultaneous launch around the end of March must be assumed to have been built based on specifications released by Apple, rather than physical units.
Will you camping outside Apple Store to buy the iPad? Let us know in the comments section.