A little more than a week ago, we reported that the grand opening of a Texas Apple store was moved up one day to possibly coincide with the release of the new iPad on Friday. And while last week’s event confirmed that the Highland Village store in Houston will open the same day the new iPad is released, we apparently know now what time the new tablet will be put on sale – 8 a.m.

The Houston Chronicle reports that the store (pictured) will open at 8 a.m., two hours earlier than its scheduled 10 a.m. opening time on that day.

“The store’s doors will open at 8 a.m. Friday, the same day that Apple’s third-generation iPad will go on sale. An Apple spokeswoman would not say whether all its stores will open at that time on Friday, but an early opening is typical when the company starts selling a new iPad or iPhone model.”

Even though Apple didn’t specifically confirm that all stores will open at 8 a.m. in their respective time zones, I would suspect it’s a pretty safe bet to set your alarm clocks early on that day if you plan on standing in line.

While early morning events at Apple stores are typical for new product releases, the iPad 2 didn’t go on sale until 5 p.m. But last year, there were no pre-orders.

At this point, standing in line at an Apple store (or Best Buy) will apparently be the best way to quickly get your hands on a new iPad if you haven’t pre-ordered online.

On Friday, Apple sold out of its launch day stock of iPads, and was quoting a ship by date of next Monday, March 19. Over the weekend, the backlog has grown even larger, and now the site is quoting a ship time of two to three weeks from today.

Did you preorder your new iPad, or will you be braving the launch day lines on Friday? Two Apple fans in London are already in line, so you better hurry.

(Image via Swamplot)