The long wait is almost over, as Apple's much sought after iPad finally goes on sale in the UK tomorrow, Friday 28 May. The delay, blamed on unprecedented US demand for the tablet, pushed back the iPad launch in nine countries - Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. Nine other countries - Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore - should have the iPad available sometime in July.
With one million US sales in just 28 days after launch, Apple is clearly struggling to keep up with customer demand for the iPad. If you didn't pre-order your iPad shortly after Apple announced pricing and availability in the UK, then don't expect to receive the device in time for the Bank Holiday weekend. The UK Apple Online Store currently lists 'Ships: June' for all six versions of the iPad, so your best bet tomorrow is to get up and out early if you want to be amongst the first to get your hands on Apple's new device.
Apple Stores across the UK will be open one hour earlier at 8 am tomorrow morning, so customers can hopefully pick up an iPad before heading into work. The flagship Apple Store, Regent Street expects the queue to start to build from around 5 am, although a few hardy souls may be happy to wait over night, something the local Westminster Council doesn't encourage. The store is expecting decent levels of stock for each iPad, but can't anticipate how long those supplies will last.
Apple has stores in the following locations:
Aberdeen, Union Square - 01224 287 900Bath, SouthGate - 01225 487 000BelfastVictoria Square - 028 9016 1900Birmingham, Bullring - 0121 260 1900Brighton, Churchill Square - 01273 740 500Bristol, Cabot Circus - 0117 900 3450Bristol, Cribbs Causeway - 01179 597 600Cambridge, Grand Arcade - 01223 253600Cardiff, St David's 2 - 029 2055 6800Essex, Lakeside - 0170 871 7500Exeter, Princesshay - 0139 231 6600Glasgow, Buchanan Street - 0141 300 4950Kent, Bluewater - 01322 640100Kingston, Bentall Centre - 0208 213 2020Leicester, Highcross - 0116 201 1900Liverpool, Liverpool ONE - 0151 472 2600London, Brent Cross - 020 8359 1050London, Regent Street - 020 7153 9000London, White City - 020 8433 4600Manchester, Arndale Centre - 0161 216 4570Manchester, Trafford Centre - 0161 240 1000Milton Keynes, Milton Keynes - 01908 856650Newcastle upon Tyne, Eldon Square - 01912 706 100Norwich, Chapelfield - 016 0321 6600Sheffield, Meadowhall - 0114 212 1000Solihull, Touchwood Centre - 0121 224 1300Southampton, WestQuay - 023 8030 1050.
Full details can be found at http://www.apple.com/uk/retail/storelist/.
According to Apple, "select" Apple Premium Resellers (APRs) across the UK should also have the iPad in stock tomorrow. Those Macworld contacted this week, all confirmed the iPad would be available but couldn't say and didn't know how many of each will be in stock. Interest amongst customers has been extremely high and the inability to pre-order, reserve or even advertise iPads for sale have left many APRs extremely frustrated. APRs reportedly must also get approval from Apple by sending emailed photos of iPad displays by 8 pm tonight before they can start selling the device in the morning. Stock is very likely to be limited, so the best advice is again to visit your local Apple Premium Reseller early. Some are planning to open their doors, like Apple, at 8 am. You can search for a local APR by visiting http://www.apple.com/uk/buy/apr.
Additionally, following a deal with electronics retail giant DSGi, the iPad will reportedly be available from 9 am on Friday in 70 PC World stores, 28 Currys stores and 22 Dixons Travel outlets, as well as 19 combined PC World/Currys stores. DSGi has agreed a 60-day window with Apple, which will give DSGi owned retail stores a chance to stock the iPad at the same time as Apple and Apple Premium Resellers, two month's before rival retailers Comet, Tesco, John Lewis and the Carphone Warehouse.
Finally, Apple offers a useful link - http://www.apple.com/uk/buy/locator/ - for those hoping to pick up an iPad tomorrow.
This story, "How to Buy an Apple iPad in the UK" was originally published by Macworld U.K..