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Apple's iPad Hits UK

Steve Jobs' slick new tablet is now available across the pond—but Brits better be prepared to dig deep.

Apple officially made its iPad tablet computer available for purchase in the UK on Friday, but British shoppers, as usual, can expect to pay significantly more than their U.S. counterparts for the buzzworthy gadget.

iPad teardown shot via FCC.
(click for larger image and for full photo gallery)

The Wi-Fi only version starts at 429 GBP for the 16GB model, the 32GB is 499 GBP, and the 64GB model is 599 GBP. For the Wi-Fi plus 3G version of the iPad, the 16GB model is 529 GBP, the 32GB model 599 GBP, and the 64GB model 699 GBP.

Based on current exchange rates, those prices make the iPad about 25% more expensive to purchase in the U.K. than in the U.S., regardless of which model is chosen.

Not surprisingly, the situation is not sitting well with British consumers, who typically face higher prices for everything from gas to groceries.

"Well that's normal rip-off Britain, the obvious thing is, 'Don't buy it,'" wrote Royston Amphlett, of Bournemouth, England, commenting on an iPad story posted by The Daily Mail. "I assure you life will still carry on," Amphlett said.

"Simple solution, don't buy the product and if enough people do that they will have to drop the price," wrote Ellie, from Leicestershire. "Fools can only be taken advantage of if they allow themselves to be conned," Ellie said.

"It's not just the iPad, most Apple kit is overpriced for what you get," said Dave Rixon, of Bournemouth. The higher prices aren't entirely Apple's fault. Like the rest of Europe, the UK slaps a Value Added Tax (VAT) on most goods that adds considerably to final purchase prices.

In the U.S., pricing for the Wi-Fi only version, which features 802.11 connectivity, starts at $499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 32GB model, and $699 for the 64GB version. The Wi-Fi + 3G versions are priced higher. The 16GB model is $629, the 32GB model is $729, and the 64GB version is priced at $829.

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