Update: Apple Store opens for iPad orders (including accessories).
Update: Telstra reveals 3G data plan prices for ad hoc subscribers.
Apple fanbois rejoice: the iPad will be available in shops from May 28 starting at $629 inc GST - about 11 percent more than its US retail price but cheaper than in some of the other eight countries where it will be released that day.
Apple opens orders from Monday for the devices that come in two flavours: Wi-Fi with or without 3G and three memory configurations.
The chart below shows the local and US prices for the devices and the cross-rate currency conversion. The Australian price includes GST; US sales taxes are applied by states and not included in Apple's prices.
Australia fared quite well on the iPad's price differential to Apple's home US market - British buyers of the 699GBP top-of-the-line model will be slugged up to 48 percent more than US users for the privilege of accessing content on Apple's netbook killer.
Apple left it so late to announce its prices - its press release hit journalists' inboxes around 11pm last night - that it prompted The Australian to lead its Saturday edition with the headline: "Apple to start taking iPad orders, but don't ask the price".
"Hopefully, buyers putting in pre-orders from Monday through Apple's website will also be told how much they need to stump up for the gadget, and what day they can expect to pick up their shiny new iPad," wrote Australian IT editor Stuart Kennedy.
"Apple Australia said yesterday it was going ahead with pre-orders from Monday but still did not know local pricing or have a firm date on when those who pre-ordered could pick up their device."
In the same statement, Apple said its iBookstore will be a free download on the day the wunderdevice was available in Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and Switzerland.
But in a decision that was sure is to fuel grey exports across the Tasman, New Zealanders will have to wait until July along with those in Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands and Singapore, Apple said.
Apple's misjudgement of the strength of US demand caused it to delay its Australian April release date.
The consumer electronics device maker said it sold more than a million iPads, 12 million apps and 1.5 million ebooks since it was released in the US.
Morgan Stanley attributed the crash in netbook sales to the release of Apple's device. In the past month, netbook sales month-on-month declined to just 5 percent growth from their high of 641 percent growth at this time last year, the analyst said.
Issue: 324 | February 2014
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