Apple poster confirming early iPad launch

If you've taken this Friday off work to go and pick up your new iPad, then you can forget enjoying a lie-in. Apple stores across the U.S. will be opening their doors at 8:00 AM to launch the third-generation device, and you'll have to be there nice and early to get your hands on one.

9to5Mac's Mark Gurman has obtained a photograph of an official Apple poster from "a friend in retail" that confirms the new iPad will go on sale at 8:00 on Friday, March 16.

The leak follows a report from the Houston Chronicle yesterday that suggested Apple would open up early when it was confirmed that a new store in the Highland Village Shopping Center in Houston would open for the first time at 8:00 AM.

Furthermore, Apple is set to hold "overnights" on Thursday to prepare for the big day, and "all available hands will be on deck Friday morning." Retail staff who will be working outside of their normal hours will get an additional 10 percent wage increase for their time, according to 9to5Mac's report.

If you intend to visit your local Apple store and pick up a new iPad on Friday, you'll probably want to get there early. Product launches like this famously attract lengthy queues with hundreds of customers, and initial stock is typically gone before the end of the day.

Will you be visiting an Apple store on Friday?

[via 9to5Mac]