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Thousands Pre-order The iPad, But Where's The Content?

Customers have placed hundreds of thousands of pre-orders for the Apple iPad, but they may not have access to all the digital content they expect as Apple scrambles to line up publishers.

Apple is still scrambling to make last-minute deals with television, newspaper, magazine, and textbook content providers to ensure that iPad customers can make the most of their new devices, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

The biggest hurdle for Apple in lining up content for the iPad seems to be concerns among potential partners about how a deal that gets them on the iPad might impact existing revenue streams.

For instance, The Wall Street Journal wrote, Apple has delayed a plan to offer TV subscriptions for the iPad because of lack of interest from media companies, and instead may drop the price it charges for TV shows through its iTunes store to 99 cents, compared to the $1.99 and $2.99 price tag for such shows through iTunes. The media companies, however, are concerned such a price cut could hurt their cable and satellite business.

As for streaming television videos over the iPad,The Wall Street Journal said licensing issues on the broadcast side and technical issues on the iPad side could prevent that option.

Meanwhile, many television and digital print publishers make heavy use of Adobe Systems' Flash video technology is not supported on the iPad.

However, iPad users should have access to a large library of digital books, with publishers expecting to have nearly all the digital titles they offer for the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook available for the new Apple device.

Potential iPad customers have been able to place orders since March 12, and can have them shipped or pick them up at a local Apple store.

The iPad 3G models, which also come with Wi-Fi, are slated for launch in late April and are priced at $629 for 16 GB of storage and $829 for 64 GB. For the Wi-Fi only iPads, prices range from $499 for 16 GB and $699 for 64 GB.

iPad customers can purchase 3G data plans on a monthly basis and cancel at any time. Customers will have the option of a $14.99 monthly plan that includes up to 250 megabytes of wireless data, or a $29.99 monthly plan that includes unlimited data.

Kevin McLaughlin contributed to this article.

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