The rumor mill is starting to grind again around the iPad, this time with talk that Apple will begin taking preorders for the new tablet as early as this week. Given Apple's promised delivery time of 60 days from its original announcement of the device, the proposed dates fit. Whether they turns out to be true is another matter.
AppAdvice, a blog dedicated to all things related to the App Store, was first to post the rumor, citing a "reliable source." The blog said preorders will be taken as soon as this Thursday, Feb. 25.
Apple (NASDAAQ: AAPL) will be only take preorders in the U.S. and only for the Wi-Fi version, according to the report. The iPad is slated to ship in Wi-Fi-only and Wi-FI/3G versions, with the 3G-enabled version costing $120 more. The iPad price starts at $499 and goes up depending on the amount of storage capacity and whether the customer buys a 3G option or not.
The site also speculates on the possibility of a March 29 ship date, based on Apple's promise to ship within 60 days of the device's original unveiling. Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the device on January 27, but March 27 is a weekend date and new products are rarely if ever introduced to market on a weekend. March 29, then, seems more likely as a Monday.
Apple, as is its policy, did not respond to requests for comment on the rumors.
With the approach of the iPad, the once-reclusive Steve Jobs is said to be making the scene in New York, talking up the iPad with a variety of publishing houses. One of the recurring themes of his meetings appears to be taking shots at Adobe Flash. Many publishing companies use the multimedia technology on their sites, but Apple has made a point of not including it in the iPad.
In a meeting with The Wall Street Journals executives, Jobs -- according to a report on gossip site Gawker -- called Flash a "CPU hog" full of "security holes" and a "dying technology," which doesn't bode well for hopes of Flash support on the iPad or the iPhone and iPod Touch, where it's also not supported. One Journal columnist thought Jobs' stance had a different goal, noting that with Flash, iPad users could consume content from non-iTunes sources.
However, AppleInsider.com columnist Daniel Eran Dilger points out that much of the functions in Flash require a mouse pointer, and the iPad is a multi-touch device with no mouse, making the use of Flash on a touchscreen problematic at best.