Apple Inc.'s updated version of its iPad tablet computer will be available in stores Friday afternoon but those who can't wait to say they own the gadget can beat the crowds by ordering one online before the sun rises.
The Cupertino company is opening online sales of the iPad 2 at 1 a.m. PST, hours before they will be available in stores nationwide at 5 p.m. local time.
It's hard to predict if many enthusiasts will camp out at Apple stores to be the first to get their hands on the new iPad as they have for previous launches of Apple gadgets.
When the original version of the iPad went on sale in April, Apple said it sold more than 300,000 in the first day. It ended up selling more than 15 million in its first nine months on sale, including 7.3 million to holiday shoppers during the October-December quarter.