Apple's new iPad to go on sale from Friday 16 March

Apple new iPad

Apple has officially announced that the third generation iPad will go on sale this Friday 16 March, and UK users will be amongst the first few to start using the device.

The iPad will be available in Apple retail stores from 8am local time in the UK, Australia, Canada, France Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, and the US (including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands).

There is massive demand for latest iPad much like its predecessors with the Apple website showing a dispatch date of two to three weeks if you pre-order today. Apple is also limiting orders to two iPads per customer to try and ensure fair distribution. As always Apple will help users to set up the device if they purchase in-store.

The new iPad features several upgrades from the previous model. Key features include the Retina display, which Apple has ported over from the iPhone range. The 9.7in screen will now have a 2048x1536 resolution, and have a total of 3.1 million pixels, which the firm says is one million more than a HDTV.

The device will be powered by Apple's custom-built A5X chip, which has a dual-core processor and quad-core graphics. Apple has also added a 5-megapixel iSight camera with advanced optics to help users capture high quality photos and record video in 1080p HD video.

Apple plans to offer the new iPad with six configurations in either the trademark black or white colour schemes:

iPad Wi-Fi:

399 for the 16GB model

479 for the 32GB model

559 for the 64GB model

iPad Wi-Fi + 4G in the US and 3G networks around the world:

449 for the 16GB model

579 for the 32GB model

659 for the 64GB model

With the release of the new iPad 3,the price of the iPad 2 has been dropped with the entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi-only tablet starting at 329.

The third generation iPad will be released in additional countries starting from 23 March. These will include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.