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Apple iPad 3G gets early UK release

Apple has confirmed that the 3G iPad will hit British shores, stores and dancefloors even sooner than we expected -- but which provider will be putting the Micro SIM in our tablet?

Good news, Apple fans: the Apple iPad 3G will arrive in the UK even sooner than Steve Jobs promised.

The 3G model of the new tablet PC will be available in Blighty in April. At last week's launch event, Apple's high muckamuck mentioned a June or July international launch. But Apple's UK Web site now states that the Wi-Fi version will ship in late March, and the 3G version in April.

The release date for the 3G model depends on deals being worked with phone network providers, which suggests Apple has struck or is close to striking a deal that'll put Micro SIMs in British iPads. The iPhone has seen Apple and O2 in bed together for a long time, but the fruit-based phone has started seeing other people. Could the iPad arrive on Orange, Vodafone or even Tesco? Hmm, maybe not.

US pricing and data deals were announced at launch, but UK prices have yet to be revealed. Keep it Crave and you'll be the first to know. If you've been living under a rock for the past few days, check out our full coverage of the iPad, meet some alternatives, and swot up with our cheat sheet, so you'll know what your mates with more money than sense are currently lusting after.