Apple Extends Shipping Date To March 19 For AT&T’s 4G LTE iPad

Despite the fact that Apple’s store was an absolute mess yesterday when it relaunched with the new iPad, it would seem people are still finding a way to get their pre-order on. So much so, in fact, that white versions of the 16GB and 64GB AT&T 4G iPads have been given a new, later shipping date of March 19.

This is not even close to a surprise. In fact, we kind of expected the ship dates to get pushed back even sooner. Black models in each storage flavor seem to still be ready to ship on March 16, and Verizon’s 4G LTE iPads are also still on track. Still, we don’t expect this to last much longer so if you’re absolutely set on having the new new iPad before everyone else, you seriously need to place your pre-order like right this second.

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It’s also worth wondering where AT&T and Verizon stand with regards to sales of Apple devices. After hearing that Apple has sold more iPads than the combination of any given PC maker’s full line of products, it’s worth thinking about the carrier partnerships in place.

AT&T has always had a leg up when it comes to Apple thanks to that exclusivity contract that was in place until Verizon got the iPhone 4. This meant that early Apple adopters, ones more likely to buy an iPad, iPad 2, or new iPad, already have a subscription set up with AT&T. With each launch that included both AT&T and Verizon, both carriers have been on a relatively even playing field.

Verizon perhaps had the advantage when it comes to an unclogged network, but AT&T had the advantage of already having more iDevice owners on its network. But this time, and for the first time, the upper hand finally lands on Big Red’s side of the battlefield. Verizon’s 4G LTE network is far more built out than AT&T’s. For those who consider LTE the stand-out feature of the new iPad, this should surely play a role in the decision.

Again, we really don’t expect either carrier to keep up the pace with that March 16 ship date for much longer, but people leaning towards an AT&T model should move exceptionally fast.

[via BGR]