Apple is planning a well-orchestrated retail blitz to launch the iPad in the UK today. Served with Apple’s usual dollop of exclusivity, it seems that Apple’s latest igadget will only be available to consumers at select retail outlets.
The Times reports that DSGi has agreed a 60-day window with Apple during which it will sell the iPad almost exclusively, ahead of rivals such as Tesco, John Lewis, Comet, and the Carphone Warehouse. DSGi will also maintain stock of the tablet computer at 139 PC World and Currys stores across the nation from the day of launch, more than trebling the number of shops at which the iPad will be available.
According to the Times report, the iPad will be available from 9am onwards today in 70 PC World stores, 28 Curry, 22 Dixons Travel shops , 19 joint Currys/PC World outlets and the 27 Apple stores. The iPad will also be available at Best Buy in Thurrock.
A spokesman for DSGi has recently confirmed the Times report, going on to say that Apple will reveal its distribution plans shortly.
DSGi runs 52 Apple concessions within its stores and has fostered long-term relationship with the Californian techno-maverick Apple, and was always in a position to be able to put one over its competitors.
The iPad was launched in the US market at the beginning of last month amid much fanfare. Apple sold over a million units within the first 28 days. They are still retailing 200,000 units a day, and unexpectedly strong demand in the US had forced Apple to delay the European launch of the product. Demand in the UK is expected to mirror that of the US.
Since the iPad was first offered on the Apple website, thousands have preordered the device. However, online buyers will have to wait at least until mid-June before their receive their iPad delivered. Apple’s site initially stated that the units will start shipping on 7 June, now it simply says “June”.
The basic iPad version, with wi-fi connectivity, will cost £429, while the 3G-enbled version will cost £699. In order to be able to connect to 3G networks, consumers will need a special SIM card from Orange, O2 or Vodafone, with service tariffs ranging from £2 a day to £25 a month.