Guest post by James Britton
Ireland: the land of Guinness, shamrocks, leprechauns and soon - Thinner. Lighter. Faster. FaceTime. Smart Covers. 10-hour battery. Well, the Yanks have had their two-week head start, now it's our turn. It's the eve of the international launch of iPad 2 and excitement is building here in Dublin. We've got a quick preview of what to expect in Ireland for Apple's big day today.
Compu b, the only Apple Premium Reseller in Ireland and the closest thing to a bonafide Apple Store in the Republic, will have limited stocks of iPad 2 on hand from 5 PM local time today. The stores will close at 4 PM then reopen at 5 PM and there are four locations in Ireland where you can queue up: two in Dublin, one in Limerick and one in Cork. I spoke with one of the staff members in the central Dublin location on Grafton Street and he confirmed they would indeed have them. Unfortunately, he did not have any information about quantity available and was even a bit dismissive of my questions about the launch. I'll chalk that up to the fact that he was probably exhausted from dealing with the 999 other people who had similar questions.
Fortunately, their website will be updated with more details as they become available. After checks with all the major mobile phone networks, it appears Compu b is the only reseller in Ireland that will be selling the iPad 2, apart from Victoria Square in Belfast, Northern Ireland. However, it might also be worth checking HMV since they have been selling the first-gen iPad.
Prices will start at €479 (including VAT) for the 16 GB WiFi-only iPad, all the way up to €799 for the 64 GB 3G-enabled model. Following are the current 3G data plans offered by the four major networks:
3 - 30 days, 15 GB allowance for €19.99
Meteor - 30 days, 7.5 GB allowance for €19.99
O2 - 30 days, 5 GB allowance for €20
Vodafone - 30 days, 5 GB allowance for €20
None of the plans require an activation fee, all are pay-as-go, VAT is included and bill-pay plans are available with higher data allowances. These plans are very generous, especially the one from 3. Competition is a good thing.
Keep glued to TUAW for more iPad 2 launch coverage from the Emerald Isle.