The iPad was launched in 9 additional countries on Friday 23 July. In Austria, the iPad is available at certified resellers as well as electronic stores carrying Apple products, including Media Markt, Saturn, McShark, to name just a few. As to be expected, there were crowds and lines on the first 2 days.
My husband and I were among the lucky ones to call an iPad their own within an hour of its launch, having chosen to go the reliable route of reserving 2 units days in advance. We chose McShark figuring their reps would be more qualified to deal with Apple product launches than those at large electronic chains like Media Markt or Saturn. The plan paid off well. McShark opened an hour early on Friday to deal with the crowds and Andy had gotten the iPads after just a 45 minute wait.
There were reports that some models were selling out fast on Day 1. At the store Andy visited, the 16 GB wifi was no longer available.
On Day 2 I visited another McShark outlet to see how things were developing there. I was told that the all models of the 3G version were sold out and that there would be another delivery in “2 weeks”. There was a continuous stream of people at the iPad display, eager to touch one for the first time.
Also of note, there was only the iPad dock available at stores. The other Apple iPad accessories (camera connector, keyboard, case) were not available anywhere. We were told that they were sold out in all of Europe. We found that McShark had a relatively small range of cases and that Media Markt had a more diverse range.
We’re lucky in Austria to have five (!) providers offering mobile plans. T-mobile offers 3GB for €10 and 15GB for €15, Orange offers 1GB for €5 and 3GB for €10, Drei offers 2GB for €6 and 15GB for €15, while A1 offers 1GB for €10, 5GB for €12 and 19GB for €19. All prices are per month and plans are contract-free. We could theoretically try out each provider for the next 5 months, providing we cancel the plans on time and that we pay a activation fee in some cases. This will be interesting!
All in all a successful launch in Austria for Apple’s “magical” iPad!