Apple iPad tablet: When's the UK launch date?

Cupertino tight-lipped on iPad availability outside the US...

Cupertino tight-lipped on iPad availability outside the US...

Apple remains tight-lipped on a UK launch date for its iPad tablet computer.

The touchscreen device, launched yesterday, resembles a giant iPhone and is designed for web browsing, playing games and reading e-books.

According to Apple, wi-fi-only versions of iPads will be available "worldwide" in late March, while the iPads which come with both wi-fi and 3G will go on sale "in the US and selected countries" in April.

"International pricing and worldwide availability will be announced at a later date," a statement from the company said.

Asked when the iPad would be coming to the UK - and which other markets will be getting the device - an Apple spokeswoman declined to comment, saying no further information is currently available.

Unveiling the iPad yesterday at an event in San Francisco, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced US pricing for the device and two 3G tariffs available from US operator AT&T. Jobs said nailing down international deals with mobile operators is Apple's next priority.

apple ipad

Apple has unveiled the much-hyped iPad
(Photo credit: James Martin/CNET)

"We hope to have our international deals in place in the July - June/July timeframe. We think we can probably do a lot of them by June and so we're going to start on that tomorrow," he said.

When contacted by silicon.com, O2 - the first network to carry the iPhone in the UK - expressed interest in the iPad but, when asked whether it will be offering the device in future, a company spokeswoman said: "It's an exciting device but we have nothing to announce at this time."

Orange and Vodafone, which also sell the iPhone, had not responded to the same question at the time of publication.