Mystery surrounds iPad release

By James Ihaka

The long wait is almost over for technophiles but mystery surrounds the release of the Apple iPad due to hit stores here this week.

Nearly four months after its United States launch, Apple's iPad tablet computer goes on sale to New Zealanders on Friday.

The "giant iPod" device comes with a 24cm touch screen and allows users to watch high-definition videos, play music, email, surf the internet, read e-books and run hundreds of applications from Apple's App Store.

Its release overseas has seen some buyers go iPad-mad, with people in central Sydney braving overnight cold and a line three city blocks long to the front doors of the Apple store when it went on sale there in May.

Herald inquiries into the details of its release in New Zealand were diverted to Apple's Sydney office but no responses were forthcoming.

Mac blogger Mark Webster said yesterday that despite the company's notorious secrecy and the scant details about the release "there will definitely be queues for it".

"They [Apple] are the most secretive company on earth," he said.

Computer retailers were also unclear what was happening or how many iPads would be available.

A JB Hi Fi employee, who asked not to be named, said those selling the tablets would likely have to undergo training from Apple tomorrow.

- NZ Herald

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