By Gaurang Donovan
Apple stated in its US press release of March h29 that the “iPad will be sold in the US through the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores, most Best Buy stores, select Apple Authorized Resellers and campus bookstores.”
It seems that Apple has expanded slightly from the US model for Australia as it has been reported that the iPad is being sold in two large electronics goods centric chain stores, the largest national department store as well as the largest Apple Authorized Reseller in the country. Of course the iPad is available in all seven of the Apple Retail Stores and the Apple Online Store as well.
The list includes:
Electronics resellers: Dick Smith, JB Hi-Fi
Department stores: Myer
Apple Authorized Reseller: Next Bye
This development has to be seen in favourable light as it becomes more important for the new Apple customer as well as the walk-in retail trade of far flung Aussie places. Sometimes people want to see the product before purchasing it and not just buy without that experience.
The two capital cities of the two largest states of Australia (representing over half of the US territory in size) are without an Apple Retail Store. Apple has relied on these other sellers of its hardware mentioned above to provide and demonstrate their products in Western Australia and South Australia capital cities in the past. This has been a convenience for many in those states not to have to drive a few days just to see an Apple product as the very long distances to the East Coast stores would be measured in days of driving to and from if not weeks.
Finally on a related issue, Vodaphone Australia becomes the first telephone carrier in Australia to offer an “unlimited data plan” (http://store.vodafone.com.au/mobile-broadband-mbb-data-plans-for-ipad.aspx) for internet usage, mobile or fixed connection. They have a 30-day plan for A$50 for the iPad only for unlimited data and it seems that it really means unlimited. Perhaps this will move the larger carriers to match those unlimited plans like those available in the US through AT&T with a reasonable price. One can only hope.