After a long wait, Apple has announced details of the launch and pricing for iPads outside of the US. On Friday, May 28, iPads will go on sale in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. Pre-orders will open on Monday, May 10.
Although the press release is ambiguous, it appears that both the Wi-Fi and 3G models will be available on this date and not staggered as with the US launch.
Only the UK prices have been unveiled so far and, as expected, they are not mere conversions of the US dollar price. Prices start at £429 (inc. VAT) for the 16GB Wi-Fi iPad, £499 for the 32GB model and £599 for the 64GB iPad. Wi-Fi and 3G iPads will be priced at £529, £599 and £699 respectively for the 16, 32 and 64GB models.
Prices for iPad accessories are expected to be announced at launch. iPad accessories are also available for pre-order via Apple's online stores.
At £429 for the cheapest iPad compared to $499 in the US, there is a significant markup for the European market which could have expected a price of around £338 for a straight USD to GBP conversion. Apple claims that the higher cost abroad is due to higher taxes and shipping costs with all UK prices including VAT.
Apple has also announced that it plans to sell the iPad in Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore in July with prices to follow.
The original international iPad launch was pushed back last month after Apple experienced a "surprisingly strong US demand" that saw the company sell over one million units in just 28 days. This lead many in the UK and other countries to purchase the device via eBay and other services providing a way to ship iPads from the US. While a dedicated iPad App Store doesn't yet exist in the UK, a number of iPad apps are available if searched for.
Should both Wi-Fi and 3G models go on sale at the same time in the UK and other countries it will be interesting to see the demand for each type device with as many as three networks providing data plans for the 3G model in the UK.