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March 22, 2011

Apple iPad 2 pricing and 5pm release confirmed

by Darren Allan

Apple has just issued a press release to confirm the exact launch time of the iPad 2 in the UK, along with the pricing of the range.

As we reported this morning, despite some supply doubts, the iPad 2 launch is definitely going ahead in the UK this Friday – but not until 5pm.

The word from Robert Peckham, former Executive Director of the Mac Technology Association reseller group, appears to be correct as Apple states: “iPad 2 will be available at Apple retail stores and select Apple authorised resellers at 5pm local time.”

Not first thing in the morning, which will no doubt be a disappointment to the more rabid Apple tablet fans out there. Retailers will have to cram a lot of sales into a couple of hours, or stay open later into the evening.

Mind you, stock might not last that long anyway – it isn’t clear exactly how many iPad 2s are going to be available, but if the launch is anything like the US, some folks will be going away disappointed. And other folks will be going away with several tablets to eBay.

CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, noted: “We’re experiencing amazing demand for iPad 2 in the US, and customers around the world have told us they can’t wait to get their hands on it. We appreciate everyone’s patience and we are working hard to build enough iPads for everyone.”

And so onto the pricing. It appears Apple is firing on all cylinders here, with the asking price actually being less than the original iPad was when it came out almost a year ago. A clever move when it comes to encouraging new adopters.

The basic original 16GB iPad with wi-fi was £429, and the same iPad 2 model is £399. If you want 32GB of memory, that’ll cost £479, and then £559 for the 64GB model with wi-fi.

Those who want 3G will pay £100 more down the line for the privilege, so pricing will start at £499. A poly smart cover will be £35, and a leather one £59.

The equivalent iPad 2, then, is actually cheaper than the Motorola Xoom, when you consider the basic wi-fi Xoom (with 32GB of memory) is £499, as opposed to Apple’s £479.

We’d expect to see some price cutting on the Xoom before too long (the Motorola tablet is expected to be launched early next month).

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