3G iPad Next Friday

8:10 AM -- The 3G version of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iPad tablet will go on sale in the US in Apple retail stores at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 30. So, who's taking the afternoon off to go and get one?

Apple will also ship pre-ordered iPads on April 30. (See Apple to Ship New 3G iPads by May 7 and The iPad Has Landed.)

For those of us outside the US, we have to wait until the end of May to get, one and the pricing details won't be released until May 10. Apple says the iPads will go to Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK. (See Apple Delays International iPad.)

But more importantly, how ready are mobile broadband networks for the onslaught of data traffic that could come from these devices? So far, 3 Italia , Orange UK , Telefónica UK Ltd. , and Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) have announced that they will offer tariff packages for iPad owners. The prices of their data packages and the level of data usage caps, if any, will be interesting. (See Will the Apple iPad Crush 3G Networks?, AT&T to Spend $2B More on Wireless in 2010, AT&T Mobile Boss: NYC & San Fran Are 'Underperforming', and The iPad Has WiFi Teething Troubles.)

Meantime, as Apple gears up for sales of the new 3G iPads, the company said it has sold 8.75 million iPhones in its fiscal second quarter that ended on March 27, as it reported quarterly results yesterday. That's more than double the amount of iPhone units sold in the same period last year.

It was a good quarter for Apple. CEO Steve Jobs described it as the "best non-holiday quarter ever." Indeed, Apple's revenues in the quarter soared 48.6 percent to $13.5 billion, compared with the same quarter last year. And the company's net quarterly profit jumped 89.5 percent, compared to the year-ago quarter, to $3.07 billion.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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