UK gears up for iPad

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UK given iPad boost

The iPad will hit UK shores next month just a matter of weeks after launching across the Atlantic.

Apple has confirmed that its tablet will be available in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Japan, Australia and Canada in late April 2010. Both the Wi-Fi and the Wi-Fi + 3G models will be rolled out simultaneously, although international prices will not be revealed until the launch month.

Meanwhile, American customers will be able to get their hands on the Wi-Fi iPad from Saturday, April 3rd, with prices ranging from $499 (£330) to $699. The Wi-Fi + 3G version will be introduced in late April with a price tag of between $629 and $829.

Apple breaks from tradition

In the past, consumers have complained that new products are launched in America and Asia several months before they arrive in Europe. Apple's decision to opt for a near-simultaneous rollout will be widely welcomed, although it could present logistical problems.

The iPad is one of the most heavily hyped gadgets of modern times, with Apple fans hoping it will build on the success of the iPhone, the iPod and the iBook. It allows users to read books and newspapers, watch HD videos, play games, write emails and listen to music.

Steve Jobs, chief executive officer at Apple, said: "iPad is something completely new. We're excited for customers to get their hands on this magical and revolutionary product and connect with their apps and content in a more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before."

In related news, Apple ran its first iPad TV ad during the Oscars ceremony this weekend. The clip underlines iPad's credentials as an entertainment device by showing a user reading The New York Times, checking photos and watching Star Trek.