What's the best way to buy the iPad Air 3?
Best answer: Pre-ordering online is the easiest, and usually, the fastest, way to get your new iPad.Apple: iPad Air 3 (From $499)Amazon: iPad Air 3 (From $500)Best Buy: iPad Air 3 (From $500)B&H: iPad Air 3 (From $499)Costco: iPad Air 3 (From $470)Writing companion: Apple Pencil ($99)Don't forget a cover: Smart Cover ($49)
Pre-ordering on Apple's website is quick and easy.
I've pre-ordered my Apple products from Apple for the last several years, and as a general rule it's fast, it's easy, and I usually get my items on release day. There is never a guarantee, but Apple has the most of any given item. Any reseller only has what Apple gives them to sell. Don't forget to trade in your old iPad while you're on the site.
Prefer to order from your iPhone?
For many people, their primary computer is their iPhone. If that's the case for you, then the Apple Store app is the way to go. On a phone, the Apple Store app is faster than the mobile web site. It's a pretty great app, actually. You can sign up for some Today at Apple sessions while you're in the app.
An alternative website might save you sales tax
B&H is a popular photography and tech website that also has the iPad Air 3 ready to pre-order. An authorized Apple reseller, B&H offers the iPad Air 3 for the same price as Apple. It depends on what you state you live in, but for my state, B&H offers free 2-day shipping and doesn't charge sales tax.
Best Buy offers a discount program
Best Buy has a program called My Best Buy. It's free to join, and if you do so, you will get $25 off one of the new iPads. Of course, if you have Best Buy gift cards, that's the clear place to pre-order your new iPad Air 3.
Amazon carries the latest as well
Amazon won't be left out of the excitement, there too is a good place to pre-order your iPad Air 3. Amazon is also a good choice if you happen to have some Amazon gift cards. There are also loads of accessories available on Amazon, so it's great for one-stop shopping.
Costco offers $30 off
If you have a Costco membership, you can get a discounted Wi-Fi model of the iPad Air 3 at Costco right out of the gate. Whether you get the 64GB or the 256GB size, Costco's price is $30 less than the retail price. Buy a couple of these and your Costco membership pays for itself this year!
Just show up at the Apple Store on release day
Going to the Apple Store and trying to score an iPad Air 3 on release day isn't the most convenient way to go. But I've definitely done it. I doubt I'll do it anymore at this point in my life since pre-ordering is so much easier. Still, there is nothing like a release day at Apple. There's a special kind of camaraderie, waiting in line with like-minded Apple fans. If you enjoy that unique experience, go for it. You can also bring in your old iPad to trade in while you're there, perhaps it will offset the cost of your new one.
Ordering online from Apple is usually the fastest, most reliable way to go.
There is never a guarantee on release day, but I've ordered my Apple devices from Apple directly the last several cycles and usually get my items as expected. Whether you order from the app or the website is a personal choice. And if you say you'd rather take your chances and just show up at your local Apple store on release day ... I totally get it.
Don't forget the pencil
The iPad Air 3 is compatible with the first generation Apple Pencil.
The iPad Air 3 is the first iPad Air that works with an Apple Pencil. The second generation Apple Pencil won't work with the iPad Air 3, only the original Apple Pencil. Pick one up today and you'll have it even before your iPad Air 3.
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Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at CNET. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, AppAdvice, WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.