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March 9, 2010

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iPad sales to start from end April


APPLE Inc will launch the highly anticipated touch-screen iPad mobile device in some overseas markets, including the United States, Japan and France, by the end of April, later than the expected date of March 31, the firm said yesterday.

US-based Apple, however, said it has not decided on the timetable for iPad's debut in China and other markets. The iPad, which features Wi-Fi and 3G functions, won't be available in China until Apple has talked with domestic carrier partners and this may take some time, industry insiders said.

The iPad, which features a 9.7-inch display, Wi-Fi, video game and e-book functions, will be available in the US on April 3. The iPad equipped with both Wi-Fi and 3G functions will be available by the end of April. In addition, all models of iPad will be available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK in late April, Apple said.

"We are excited for customers to get their hands on this magical and revolutionary product and connect with their apps (applications) and content in a more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before," Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive, said in a statement.

Prices for the Wi-Fi-enabled iPad will start from US$499 for 16 gigabytes. Prices for the Wi-Fi and 3G iPad model, which will be sold in late April, start from US$629.

Global sales of touch-screen mobile devices will hit 360 million units this year, an annual growth of 96.8 percent, said Gartner Inc, a US-based IT consulting firm.

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