It's all sunshine and Lightning for everyone who loves new Apple hardware -- except for those cranky not-so-few who bought a full-size third generation iPad (Retina) in the run-up to today's announcements. Although some late rumors suggested a revamp to the iPad mini's big brother would include the new interface port and upgraded internals, that's cold comfort now if you really had your heart set on having the latest and greatest for more than a few short months.
There might be some wiggle room, however, if you bought your third-generation iPad in the last month and you feel like exchanging for a fourth-generation model. CNet is citing the experience of a few readers who were able to get AppleCare confirmation of a 30-day return window (the usual no-questions-asked-if-it's-undamaged return policy is 14 days after purchase). Reporter Sharon Vaknin says that the Stockton Street Apple Store in San Francisco is waiving the 14-day policy -- but that might be a discretionary change that is only available at certain stores.
We've emailed Apple for comment, as this store-by-store exchange policy (if that's what's going on) seems a bit flaky and unfair. If you're still inside the 14-day margin, you should be able to exchange up for the current model if you want to, keeping in mind that your docks and accessories won't be directly compatible. If you're between 15 and 30 days, call your local store or AppleCare and see what they say.