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Apple says it has sold out of the first round of pre-orders for the new iPad, and people who order online won’t have their devices shipped until sometime after the March 16 launch date.

But the new iPad will still be available in stores on Friday, and if tradition holds, we’re likely to see people lining up in advance of the launch.

“Customer response to the new iPad has been off the charts and the quantity available for pre-order has been purchased,” Apple said in a statement, as quoted by USA Today and other outlets. “Customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date.”

As of this morning, the company’s U.S. online store was estimating 2-3 weeks for shipment.

Features of the new iPad include a retina display with 2048 x 1536 screen resolution, a new A5X processor with quad-core graphics, 1080p HD video recording, voice dictation, 4G LTE connectivity with theoretical peak download speeds of 73 Mbps, with the ability for the iPad to be a personal hotspot if carriers support it.

The new iPad will be available starting at $499 for a 16GB version with WiFi, and ranging up to $829 for a 64GB version with 4G connectivity.

In addition, Apple is cutting the price of 16GB, Wi-Fi-only iPad 2 to $399.

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