Apple has announced that the Wi-Fi model of its iPad media tablet will go on sale in the UK in "late March". The 3G Apple iPad will be available in the UK sometime in April. Apple has not yet released its UK iPad pricing.
Apple's 3G iPad is likely to be available on O2 and Orange when it hits the UK. Last week we reported that Micro SIM manufacturer Gemalto had claimed that the two networks have purchased hundreds of their cards, which serve the device's 3G functionality.
It is likely O2 will offer the device as it has a long-standing relationship with Apple and was the exclusive carrier for the iPhone until September last year, when Orange announced it would also stock the handset. Vodafone is also now an official Uk iPhone carrier.
That said, when Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad last week he said devices shipped outside the US will be unlocked, and therefore available on any network.
Apple has priced the iPad in an unusually complex matrix of two basic models - one with Wi-Fi 802.11n connectivity only, the other with both WiFi and 3G - available in three memory storage configurations of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. The Wi-Fi+3G model of each is $130 more than the cost of the Wi-Fi-only iPad with the same amount of storage. In other words, while Apple will sell the Wi-Fi-only tablet in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models for $499, $599 and $699, respectively, the iPad with Wi-Fi and 3G will cost $629, $729 and $829.
In Steve Jobs' words, the iPad is Apple's "most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price".