Despite the big stories about the iPad 2 selling out in the U.S., and the question marks over how events in Japan might affect consumer electronics supplies, Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) is going ahead with its scheduled launch of the iPad 2 outside the U.S.
Today the company confirmed that it would begin selling the device in 25 more countries this Friday — appropriately, March 25.
New markets are 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.
The suggested retail price will be the local equivalents of those that Apple launched with in the U.S.: $499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 32GB model, $699 the 64GB model. iPad 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G will be available for a suggested retail price of $629 for the 16GB model, $729 for the 32GB model and $829 for the 64GB model. But some markets may also see subsidies from mobile operators that are bundling the device with data services: for example T-Mobile, Orange and Three in the UK.
Further countries, including Hong Kong, Singapore and Korea, will be added in April.
The iPad 2 was met with huge consumer interest when it went on sale in the U.S. two weeks ago, with some estimating that it sold up to 500,000 devices in its opening weekend alone, leaving a big question mark over whether any competing tablet maker will get a look in on that market any time soon.