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UPDATE: Line up early! Friday afternoon drinks, or iPad 2 – it’s cheaper than the original!
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  • March 23, 2011
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I an effort to go on sale in 25 extra countries as close to simultaneously as possible, Apple stores will be open late on Friday for the launch of the iPad 2 in Australia. In addition to Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK will be iPad2-ed up.

I’m assuming stores will open in the morning as normal and then trade late to clear the line of eager iPad 2 buyers, but how late will they go? And what if the stream of customers doesn’t abate in the wee small hours? I’m trying to find out what the procedure will be from Apple, and I’ll update this when I learn more.

UPDATE: It seems that no-one can really say what Apple stores will be doing tomorrow night. Least of all, Apple. No-one got back to be and the employees at the stores themselves don’t seem to know (or won’t say). Over at Gizmodo, they reckon that stores will stay open until sold out, which may be around the normal closing time of 5.30pm anyway.

I’d say that’s a reasonable guess. But, given the glacial pace of sales at Chermside for the first iPad, I’d say staff shouldn’t bank on locking the doors before 6.30pm or so. But what will they do about the inevitable long line of disappointed punters who have to go home empty-handed?

The good news: iPad 2 will be cheaper than the original iPad, thanks to a strong Aussie dollars. Models range from $50-100 cheaper than the original!

Australian prices for the three Wi-Fi only iPad 2 models (with original iPad 1 prices in brackets) are: 16GB $579 ($629); 32GB $689 ($759); 64GB $799 ($879).

Prices of models with both Wi-Fi and 3G connections are quoted at: 16GB $729 ($799); 32GB $839 ($928); and 64GB $949 ($1049).

The iPad 2 is sold out in the US, with a six-week wait, but selfish types in the US who thought Apple would delay the international launch to fill backorders in North America are out of luck. And we’ll get it cheaper (from our perspective) than the iPad. Thanks Aussie dollar!

So will you be skipping Friday night drinks to stand in line underneath an oversized Apple logo? Maybe drag some like-minded folk from work and have yourselves your own party while in the line.
And will there be hip flasks involved? Let me know in the comments!

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