The must-have gadget of the past year, Apple’s iPad tablet computer, is finally going on sale in SA. Core Group, Apple’s distributor, has confirmed the machine will be available from Friday, starting at R4 399.
However, the introduction of the device comes just weeks before Apple is expected to take the wraps off the second-generation iPad. A Core Group spokesman couldn’t say whether the company will sell the iPad 2 at launch.
The looming introduction of the next-generation iPad could crimp sales of the device in SA. It’s estimated that as many as 50 000 first-generation iPads are already in the country, bought by people travelling overseas or through e-commerce websites such as Wantitall and Kalahari.net.
Pricing details are: iPad with WiFi — 16GB R4 399; 32GB R5 399; 64GB R6 399. iPad with Wi-Fi and 3G: 16GB R5 599; 32GB: R6 599; 64GB: R7 599. These prices are well below what unofficial channels have been charging for the device.
The iPad will be available through Apple premium resellers, including the iStore branches. Selected Incredible Connection and Dion Wired outlets will also stock the device.
More details are available at Core Group’s website.
Coming to mobile operators?
Amith Maharaj, MD of Telkom’s new mobile operator 8ta, tweeted cryptically earlier on Thursday: “Watch out for some breaking news about 8ta and a fast-selling device that is still to hit SA.” This could suggest that the iPad will also be available from 8ta.
Maharaj, who is travelling overseas, could not be reached comment.
For its part, Vodacom says it will not sell the iPad immediately, though spokesman Richard Boorman says it may be able to source the device through retail channels for its subscribers.
MTN SA chief marketing officer Serame Taukobong says the operator “will continue to discuss options with Apple to make sure that the device is available for its customers”. — Staff reporter, TechCentral
Will you buy an iPad? Leave your comments below…