The Apple iPad 2 will go on sale in 25 additional countries March 25, proving it takes more than hell and high water to slow down Apple.
As the CTIA Wireless trade show got underway in Orlando March 22, the Cupertino, Calif., computer maker announced it will begin selling the iPad 2 in the additional locations at Apple retail stores and authorized resellers beginning 5 p.m. local time. Additionally, it will begin shipping its newest generation iPad to Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and additional countries in April.
"While competitors are still struggling to catch up with our first iPad, we've changed the game again with iPad 2," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a statement. "We're experiencing amazing demand for iPad 2 in the U.S., 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."On March 2 Jobs introduced the device, which is 33 percent thinner than its predecessor, 15 percent lighter and noticeably quicker, thanks to Apple's dual-core A5 processor, the next generation of the A4 in the original iPad.Apple also included a front-facing VGA camera for video chatting with its FaceTime app, a rear-facing camera capable of taking 720p HD video, fit in a battery with up to 10 hours of go time, and introduced updated versions of its iMovie and GarageBand apps for the iPad that users can purchase for $4.99.According to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, Apple sold nearly half a million of the devices on its U.S. launch date alone, exceeding Munster's expectations. "Strong demand in stores and online suggests that our estimate of 5.5 million iPads in the March quarter is likely conservative," he wrote in a March 14 report. However, analysis firm IHS iSuppli suggested Apple might face production problems, after a teardown analysis of the iPad 2 showed that at least five major components to be the work of Japanese manufacturers. While some suppliers have reported that their facilities survived the March 11 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami, logistical challenges are said to be rampant in portions of the country. Additionally, aftershocks and rolling blackouts to conserve energy continued to create difficulties, particularly for semiconductor builders whose products require delicate processes that are sensitive to exterior conditions.On March 25, the 16GB, WiFi-only model of the iPad 2 will begin selling in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom for $499. A 32GB model will be available for $599 and a 64GB for $699.Models including both WiFi and 3G connectivity (in the United States, they're available from Verizon Wireless and AT&T) will be priced at $629 for a 16GB device, $729 for a 32GB and $829 for a 64GB iPad 2.Further international ability and pricing information will be announced at a later date, Apple said.