New iPad on sale 8am on Friday

Ooooh, the wait is almost over. If you're not already in the queue with Zohaib and the gang - then you should probably head down. For the mighty Apple Stores will open their doors at 8am on Friday, 16 March, and begin selling the third-generation iPad to the masses.

The early start is part of a worldwide promo, with not just the UK but Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland and the US (along with Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands) all getting in on the early fun.

A quick spin of our globe tells us that its our Antipodean cousins down under who'll be getting their hands on the new iPad first then, as its 8am local time, not a universal time launch.

The new iPad Wi-Fi-only models will be available in black or white with prices starting from £399 for the 16GB model, £479 for the 32GB model and £559 for the 64GB one.

The iPad Wi-Fi with 4G will be available for £499, £579 or £659 in the same size and colour variations.

Apple has also revealed that iPad lovers in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden will be able to grab the tab formerly known as the iPad 3 on 23 March.

We recently told you how demand is so high for the new iPad that Apple has already sold out of launch day iPads for online orders. In the UK, all models of the new iPad are listed on Apple.com/uk as "dispatched in 2-3 weeks" meaning that while stock is still coming, if you want one in your hands on 16 March you are going to have to physically queue at an Apple store or somewhere else on the high street.