Apple has announced that the new iPad will be going on sale at Apple Retail Stores on Friday, March 16 at 8am local time in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland and the UK; along with Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

Every customer who buys a new iPad at an Apple retail store will be offered free Personal Setup service, helping them customize their iPad by setting up email, loading new apps from the App Store and more, so they'll be up and running with their new iPad before they leave the store. Personal Pickup, available at Apple retail stores in the US and a feature of the free Apple Store app, lets iPad customers shop and buy from anywhere they are, then pick up their purchase at any Apple retail store.

Apple Online Stores will also have the new iPad available for order -- as opposed to pre-order -- at 8am on Friday, March 16. Given the pre-order sellouts, however, it's unknown what the availability or shipping estimates will be.

Several of us from iMore will be lining up on Friday (and giving away free, special edition iMore t-shirts). Leanna, as well as Kevin Michaluk, Gary Mazo, and the Mobile Nations Miami team will also be at their local Apple Stores. If you're lining up, let us know where!

Also let us know which new iPad you're getting, and if you having trouble deciding, check out our 2012 iPad buyers guide.

See you Friday!