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Apple iPad Hits Nine More Countries Friday

The iPad continues its march into new markets as competition remains scarce.

Apple on Monday said that its iPad will be available in nine more countries on Friday, July 23.

Launched on April 3 in the U.S., the iPad was subsequently introduced in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK on May 28.

On Friday, customers in Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore will be able to buy Apple's iPad.

Apple did not disclose specific iPad price points in these markets.

In markets where the iPad is currently offered, the Wi-Fi models carry a suggested retail price of $499 (US) for 16GB, $599 (US) for 32GB, and $699 (US) for 64GB. The Wi-Fi + 3G models list for $629 (US) for 16GB, $729 (US) for 32GB and $829 (US) for 64GB.

Apple said it will introduce the iPad in additional countries later this year.

Last month, Apple said it had sold over 3 million iPads in 80 days. The company is expected to update iPad sales information on Tuesday, July 20 when it reports financial results for its FY 2010 third quarter.

In April, market research firm iSuppli said it expected Apple to sell over 7 million iPads this year.

iSuppli said earlier this month that it expects sales of touch screens for slate-type devices will rise nearly 5000% in 2010 due to sales of Apple's iPad and competing products.

Hardware markers are planning to introduce a variety of netbooks and tablets based on Google's Chrome OS and Android operating systems later this year. The Dell Streak, which runs Android, is expected to be released any day.

But at the moment, the iPad pretty much stands alone.

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