Apple Australia has named May 28 as the launch day for the iPad tablet – in both its Wi-Fi-only and 3G forms – in Australia, with pricing to start at A $629. And it sprang a major surprise by revealing that – despite reports to the contrary – Australian users will be able to access Apple’s iBookstore from day one.
It has been generally presumed that the publishing industry’s territorial deals would keep the bookstore off the Australian scene for some time: it took Apple several years to set up a similar arrangement in Australia for its iTunes music service.
Australia is one of nine countries that will be the first outside the US to get the iPad on May 28. The others are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. Pre-orders are being taken from today.
New Zealand will get the iPad in July, along with Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore.
In Australia recommended retail prices for the three Wi-Fi models are: 16 gigabytes, $629; 32GB $759; 32GBV 879.
The three 3G+Wi-Fi models will go for $799 (16GB), $928 (32GB) and $1049 (64GB).
The iPads will be sold by the online Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and selected Apple authorised resellers, Apple said. They will come with 12 iPad apps pre-installed, and Apple says there are now 5000 more available at the App Store, as well as the 200,000-odd iPhone apps that the iPad will run.
The iBooks app for iPad including Apple’s iBookstore will be available as a free download from the App Store on May 28, Apple said. It did note reveal how many books would initially be available to Australian readers.