When Apple unveiled the iPad earlier this year, we were told it would be available around the end of March. Rumors began to swirl recently suggesting shipments had been delayed. However, today the company has put an end to all speculation and finally announced a firm date for the official debut of its anticipated tablet device: the iPad will go on sale s part of the launch, Apple says it will also officially pull the curtain off its online bookstore and 12 new apps that have been designed specifically for the device to take advantage of its larger real estate. The new iBookstore will feature books from both major and independent publishers, including Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Group, and Simon & Schuster.