While Apple introduced the iPad on Jan. 27, the first model isn't expected to ship until March. The reason for this, a few members of the media with exceptionally good peepers are reporting, is that the iPad hasn't yet been approved by the FCC and so isn't yet legal.
"Some features and applications are not available in all areas," Apple wrote in teeny print at the bottom of an e-mail received by those who have preordered, Wired reported Jan. 28.
"Application availability and pricing are subject to change. This device has not yet been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. This device is not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained," the fine print continued.
These remarks are echoed at the very bottom of the iPad tech specs page.
Endpoint Technologies analyst Roger Kay called the matter a "nonissue," and Wired additionally pointed out the Apple did the same with the iPhone, introducing it six months before it became available. The move was seemingly an effort not to spoil the surprise of the announcement, since FCC filings are public documents.
As Apple surely knows, there's no reason to expect that the iPad won't be approved by the FCC-which these days seems to have plenty on its plate.
The basic, Wi-Fi-enabled model of the iPad, priced at $499, is expected to be released within 60 days of the device's introduction. All six models will be shipping within 90 days.