It has emerged that the hotly sought-after iPad tablet computer from Apple will be sold in the UK by O2, Vodafone and Orange, and that prices will be revealed early in May.
Earlier today Apple said that high demand for the iPad will delay the launch of the device in Europe until May and that it will accept pre-orders from 10 May.
There will be two versions of the iPad in the market – a Wi-Fi only device which is available in the US, and a 3G and Wi-Fi version most likely to be sold by mobile operators.
Mass markets like the UK, Germany, France and Italy are more than likely to get the iPad devices before smaller markets like Ireland.
Unlike with the original launch of the iPhone, Apple has elected to go with as many mobile operators in each market instead of exclusive deals, such as the O2 deal for Ireland and the UK.
In recent months, Vodafone began retailing the iPhone 3GS in the Irish and UK markets.
Both O2 and Vodafone’s UK operations revealed their intentions to sell the iPad in May and trotted out a standard Apple line about how the "iPad lets users browse the web, read and send email, enjoy and share photos, watch HD videos, listen to music, play games, read e-books and much more, all using iPad’s revolutionary Multi-Touch user interface."
In a statement, Vodafone said: “Vodafone today announced that it will offer dedicated iPad price plans for all models from the end of May in Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.”
O2 said: “O2 today announced that it will offer dedicated iPad price plans for all models from the end of May in the UK.”
When Ireland will receive the iPad device is the big question but there can be no doubt that the most likely vendors for the product in the market will be Vodafone, O2 and Carphone Warehouse.
By John Kennedy
Photo: The Apple iPad