Apple iPad on sale in Canada today

The Apple iPad, the tablet computer that has sold more than a million units in the month after its U.S. release, hit Canadian store shelves Friday, with hours-long lineups of tech-hungry shoppers expected across the country.

At 8 a.m. local time, the iPad went on sale in Canada, the latest development in the iconic electronics manufacturer’s decades-long ascent to the top of the geek-chic pyramid.

A mix of the ubiquitous iPhones and MacBook laptops, the iPad is essentially a flat, 10-inch touch screen with Internet access that can play music, photos, and games. More than 200,000 downloadable apps are already available.

The iPad was greeted with skepticism when it was first unveiled by Apple CEO Steve Jobs in January. But by the time it went on sale in the U.S. in April, the same hype that made the iPod a generational touchstone had sunk in. Within a month, more than a million had been purchased.

Future Shop, the country’s largest consumer electronics retailer, said it’s expecting "an onslaught of customers to come in" to get the iPad when the stores open Friday.

"It’s expected to be a huge success like any other Apple launch," communications manager Elliott Chun said.

"Often people will go that extra mile to be the first to get it," he said, adding that he suggests customers get to their stores early.

Customers have been able to pre-order iPad models from Apple’s online store since May 10. Apple Canada spokesman Simon Atkins wouldn’t say how many have been pre-sold.

The suggested retail prices for the iPad Wi-Fi models in Canada are $549 for 16GB, $649 for 32GB and $749 for 64GB. For Wi-Fi + 3G models, the prices are $679 for 16GB, $779 for 32GB and $879 for 64GB.

Rogers and Bell both offer data packages of $15 per month for a 250-megabyte no-contract plan or $35/month for a 5GB no-contract plan.

The iPad also went on sale in Japan, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, the U.K. on Friday.

With files from Reuters

杭州楼凤

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