Apple fans rejoice as iPad finally touches down in Ireland
THE wait is finally over for impatient fans dying to get hold of the iPad in Ireland after Apple announced it will go on sale here from Friday.
The 'tablet' computer -- which uses a 10-inch touchscreen for control rather than a mouse and keyboard -- has been wildly popular since its release in the US in April, shifting more than three million units to date.
Prices start at €500 for the basic model with 16GB of storage, rising to €800 for the deluxe 64GB model which has built-in 3G for internet on the move. In a sign Rip-Off Ireland is fading slightly, prices are almost identical to those in the UK and the rest of Europe.
The international launch had been delayed for several weeks due to high demand and Apple is only gradually rolling out the iPad across the world. In addition to Ireland, the product will hit the shelves in Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore Friday.
The iPad will be available through the Apple Store online and a handful of retailers. It will not be available in phone stores where the iPhone is usually sold but the mobile operators will be selling the special micro-SIMs required for the internet service built in to some models. Tariffs for these micro-SIMs are expected to be announced in the coming days.
The latest version of the iPhone -- which has been criticised for its problem with bad signal if held incorrectly -- is slated to reach Irish stores on July 30, according to Apple.