iPad2, will it launch?

The gap between the US and European releases of the iPad2 had been rumoured to have been up to 3 months, so imagine our delight when Jobs himself announced it would be 3 weeks, earlier this month.

Great news, but with an extraordinary amount of demand over the pond, will that affect our ability to get our hands on the lighter, faster, slimmer version of the iPad?

We’ll find out soon enough but even if it does launch this Friday, the stock is likely to be limited and if you haven’t got your greasy palms on one by lunchtime, you may have to kiss it goodbye for a while.

A 5 week lead time in the US for online orders could potentially result in an even longer lead time in Europe if you miss your chance on the first day.

Then, you need to decide what version to get.

Another early development in iOS 4.3 was the personal hotspot. Great! I can save money by only getting the wifi version! Wrong!

Our lovely phone networks are likely to lock this functionality down and offer it as a bolt on. Therefore rendering the ‘personal hotspot’ as none other than ‘tethering on steroids’. Only instead of costing £14.99 it will start at £7.50.

Feel free to shop around, the networks are all in cahoots and seem to be offering the same deal – because they can.

So we look forward to Friday and the imminent release of the iPad 2, then we look forward to Saturday and the endless phonecalls to Apple Stores trying to find if they have any stock left.

Don’t get your heart set on a specific colour or one of hose snazzy leather smart covers, you might just have to be happy with what you end up with!

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