It's due for release in late March, but Apple's plans for the iPad in the Australian market still remain unclear, with few local telcos willing to confess to being engaged in active conversation with the company.
While the front page of Apple's Australian web site boasts that the iPad will appear at an "an unbelievable price", the actual product page simply repeats the established line that local pricing hasn't been finalised.
Despite that, Apple says Wi-Fi models will ship in Australia in March, followed by 3G models in April. But what services will be offered on the 3G version is an open question.
Tim Lohman at Computerworld quizzed the main local players about their iPad plans. Telstra and Optus said they hoped to offer the device but had no concrete information, while Vodafone and Virgin had nothing to say at all.
Secrecy is nothing new for Apple, so it's quite likely that similar comments would be made even if the companies in question were engaged in daily negotiation. On the other hand, those same telcos were very quick to boast that they'd happily adapt the micro-SIM format used in the iPad.)
Whatever the final price and telco specs, we already know that e-books for the device won't be sold in Australia, which knocks out one of the main use cases. Concerns about lock-in are unlikely to dissuade the first wave of iPad adopters, but whether it can succeed locally with a reduced feature set and unclear 3G options remains to be seen.
Aussie Telcos still waiting on Apple for iPad details [Computerworld]