Apple has announced that all models of the new Apple iPad will be available in Australian stores from late April, but the company is yet to announce local pricing.
Both Apple's iPad Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi plus 3G models will be available for purchase at the end of April, almost a month after it hits the shelves in the United States on 3 April.
Pricing is expected to start at around AUD$700 for a basic Wi-Fi-only model. Apple will launch a total of six iPad models — 16GB, 32GB and 64GB Wi-Fi-only iPads and three 3G models with the same storage capacities.
The iPad offers users the traditional functions of a regular computer (albeit using the iPhone operating system) but it is the idea of playing games and reading eBooks on a device only 1.27 centimetres thick and 680 grams in weight that may prove to be the real hook for potential buyers.
The Apple iPad also uses the same multitouch interface seen on the iPhone, allowing users to "pinch" the screen to zoom in on Web pages, documents and photos, for example.
The 3G version of the iPad will be sold by Apple without a mobile contract, so it can be used on any Australian mobile carrier over GSM and 7.2Mbps HSDPA radio frequencies. However, the iPad uses a micro-SIM rather than the conventional full-sized SIM card used in the iPhone and all current Australian mobile phones. Micro-SIMs, or 3FF (Third Form Factor) smart cards, are almost half the length of a conventional SIM card and aren't currently available from any telco in Australia. No telco partnerships have been announced locally.