Reuters news quote that Apple Inc said the first iPads will be in US stores on April 3rd. Apple announced on last Friday that the tablet will go on sale in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK in late April.

Apple said that an iBooks application for the iPad which will compete with the Kindle would be available as a free download on April 3.

The U.S. launch date for the iPad model with short-range Wi-Fi wireless links, starting at a price tag of $499, is slightly later than the previously expected late March launch.

Beginning March 12, U.S. consumers will be able to go to Apple’s website to preorder both the Wi-Fi-only model and the version with 3G and Wi-Fi, or reserve a device to pick up at a store on April 3.