iPad 2 comes to the UK with £399 price tag

Despite rumours that stock shortages would cause a delay, the iPad 2 has gone on sale in the UK on Apple's online store, with retail outlets to follow from 5pm

The iPad 2 tablet has launched in the UK, with online sales open since 1am on Friday and shops due to start selling the product at the end of the day.

Apple iPad 2

The Apple iPad 2 has gone on sale in the UK at prices starting from £399. Photo credit: James Martin/CNET News

The iPad 2, which runs iOS 4.3, differs from its predecessor by having a faster dual-core Apple A5 processor, and a thinner and lighter frame. It also now has two cameras, front and back, allowing users to use FaceTime video calling; the first iPad had no camera at all.

"We're experiencing amazing demand for iPad 2 in the US, and customers around the world have told us they can't wait to get their hands on it," Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive, said in a statement on Tuesday. "We appreciate everyone's patience, and we are working hard to build enough iPads for everyone."

The iPad 2 went on sale in the US on March 11, and since then, there have been reports of a general lack of availability of the tablet in stores there. That shortage led to some speculation that Apple would delay its international launch, but on Tuesday the company said that the plan to start sales on Friday in 25 further countries would go ahead as planned.

In the UK, people have been queuing to buy the iPad 2 since Thursday morning, according to reports. The device is scheduled to go on sale at Apple stores and authorised Apple retailers, such as Vodafone UK shops, from 5pm.

As of 1pm on Friday, the online Apple store was showing a delay of three-to-four weeks in shipping the iPad 2, from the time of ordering.

The Wi-Fi-only model starts at £399 with 16GB of storage, goes to £479 with 32GB and tops out at £559 with 64GB. The Wi-Fi and 3G version is priced at all points £100 higher than the Wi-Fi-only model. Various versions of the 3G and Wi-Fi model are available from operators Vodafone UK, O2, Orange and 3 on subscription plans. The operators will not be selling the Wi-Fi-only iPad 2.

The iPad 2 went on sale on Friday in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. On Tuesday, Apple revealed that the device will be available to buyers in Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and other unspecified locations in April.

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