The new iPad goes on sale

The first batch of new iPads will be released to the public in a matter of minutes.

While droves of people pre-ordered the device online, the most ardent fans decided to queue up and wait, to be able to experience the new toy as soon as Apple cuts the proverbial ribbon at 8:00 AM today, local time at its stores around the world.

Then there’s a second group of people who would have preferred to pre-order it online but waited too long. Every single one of the new iPad models now shows a shipping time of 2-3 weeks on Apple’s website. At the end of last week, Apple had still been promising to ship out units on March 19.

Apparently the weekend was the time for many Apple fans to get their orders in. At this point, making a purchase online doesn’t even guarantee you’ll get it in the month of March.

The new iPad, which is officially just being referred to as the “iPad” even though many still call it the iPad 3, boasts an amazing new display along with 4G LTE connectivity.

Beyond that, though, there isn’t a whole lot of change from the iPad 2. Many are disappointed that this is merely an incremental upgrade, in much the same way that the iPhone 3GS was just a minor update to the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 4S didn’t really differ much from the iPhone 4.

It is for that reason that Apple likely doesn’t even want to call the new device the iPad 3. The company is under pressure to release product updates every year, when in reality it takes multiple years to actually advance the technology significantly.

So, the new iPad will sell like gangbusters just because it’s from Apple and it can be described as being “new.” But expect the next iteration of the tablet to be the one that is actually new and interesting.