Apple Australia has announced that pricing for the Apple iPad 2 will start from AU$579 when it goes on sale at 5pm this Friday, 25 March.
The top-of-the-line iPad 2, with 64GB of storage space and an on-board 3G mobile broadband connection, will go for AU$949, with prices scaling down to AU$839 and AU$729 for the 32GB and 16GB 3G models respectively. The Wi-Fi only version of the iPad 2 will sell for AU$799 for the 64GB model, AU$689 for the 32GB model and AU$579 for the 16GB model. The iPad 2 will be available from the company's own retail stores as well as from local third-party resellers.
The prices are not too dissimilar from the cost of the same devices in the United States, with most models increasing in price by less than $100.
Apple's new iMovie and GarageBand apps for the iPad will be available through the company's App Store, and will go for AU$5.99 each.
In addition, Apple will sell its iPad Smart Covers locally in a range of colours for AU$45 for the polyurethane model, or AU$79 for leather.
When the first iPad went on sale around Australia in May last year, hundreds of Apple fans around the nation braved a cold night on city streets to line up outside Apple stores to be one of the first to buy an Apple tablet. Apple scheduled the launch of its new Bondi Junction store in Sydney to coincide with the launch on the morning of 28 May 2010.
This year, Apple fans will also be able to pre-order the iPad online before the physical stores open. Pre-ordering begins from 1am on 25 March.
Australia's cadre of mobile telcos don't sell the iPad directly, unlike the iPhone, but they do sell prepaid 3G plans for the device. Telstra recently said that more than 100,000 iPads had been connected to its Next G network, and the company will maintain its pre-existing pricing options when the iPad 2 launches.
The iPad 2 represents a substantial upgrade to the original iPad. The new features include a design that is 33 per cent thinner than the original model, coming in at 8.8mm thick, and a lighter weight, with the Wi-Fi version of the iPad 2 weighing in at 601g compared to 680g, and the 3G version just over 600g, compared with 730g for the old model. White and black models are available; both feature a silver back.
Apple has also updated the CPU for the iPad 2, with the new Apple-produced A5 processor retaining the same speed rating (1GHz), but adding a second core to bring the iPad up to speed with an incoming wave of devices based on Google's Android platform that utilise NVIDIA's dual-core Tegra architecture.
Like the iPhone, the iPad now comes with both front and rear-facing cameras, meaning the device is now capable of using Apple's FaceTime videoconferencing application, and the rear camera can record 720p video at 30 frames per second. Apple has produced an optional HDMI output adaptor that can export both a clone of the iPad screen and 1080p video to your television.