iPad To Hit UK Apple Stores – And PC World?

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Queues are expected on Friday 28 May as iPads reach UK Apple Stores – and maybe Currys and PC World

Confusion is expected this Friday, as the iPad will be available in UK Apple stores and – according to some reports – also at Currys and PC World. With stock limited, those wanting one can still sign up for eWEEK Europe’s prize draw .

A series of delays have kept the iPad out of British hands, as demand for the tablet device rocketed in the US – selling one million in the first month. Originally scheduled for April, the UK launch was put back as Apple struggled to meet demand. Now, those who ordered the device online have been told not to expect them until 9 June, and only a small number are expected to be available in the stores on Friday.

Massive queues expected

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Apple Store spokespeople have advised that there is no point queuing up for an iPad “unless you go really early”, and UK chain DSGi has refused to comment on a report in The Times saying that the Apple tablet will also be available at 139 of its PC World and Currys stores.

The Times reports DSGi has signed a deal making it the only high street shop apart from Apple’s own stores to stock the iPad for the first 60 days of its availability in the UK, while rivals such as John Lewis and Tesco will have to wait. The Times story is based on an in ternal DSGi memo.

“I am sorry – we cannot give you any information about the iPad – any information will have to come from Apple direct,” said a senior DSGi spokesperson. DSGi’s press office was clearly working flat out simply handing queries on to Apple, unanswered.

Apple has not yet responded at the time of writing.

The iPad has had a good reception and has built an expectation of a sudden boom in tablet sales, with other products expected from HP and also Dell.  Some see the Apple device as a work in progress, however, until later this year when it will gain multitasking with the release of iPhone OS 4

Apple’s online App Store was opened to UK users of the device last week, so users who have bought the device early from the US can get apps for it – however, UK users who downloaded apps from the US store will lose them when they synch with a UK account, according to reports.

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