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Europeans to pay through the nose to get their hands on the iPad

Apple announced that the iPad would be arriving in stores in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK on Friday, May 28 - but consumers wanting to get their hands on the device will have to be ready to pay much more than their US counterparts.

In France consumers will pay an exorbitant €499 ($630) to get their hands on the base 16GB model, €599 ($760) for the 32GB model, €699 ($890) for the 64GB version with WiFi. The WiFi + 3G models will be priced at €599 ($760), €699 ($890) and €799 ($1,015) for the 16, 32 and 64 GB models respectively.

In the UK iPads will be priced at £429, £499 and £599 for the 16, 32 and 64GB WiFi versions and £529, £599 and £699 for the WiFi + 3G 16, 32 and 64GB versions.

Australians will be paying $629AU, $759AU and $879AU for iPads with WiFi and $799AU, $929AU and $1,049AU for the WiFi + 3G models.

Apple will commence international online pre-orders for the device on Monday, May 10.

Residents in Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore are expected to have iPads in their hands as soon as July.

The high prices may force non-US consumers to investigate other tablet devices, such as the French-made Archos 7 Home Tablet which will retail for just €149 (£129.99, $179) or the German-made WePad that will retail for €449 ($570) for the 16GB version.