iPad to go on sale in nine more countries on Friday

Apple said Monday that the iPad tablet computer will go on sale in nine more countries this week.

Apple said the touchscreen multi-media device will be available in Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore on Friday.

The iPad is currently available in Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the United States.

Apple had previously announced plans to sell the iPad in the nine new countries in July but had not revealed the date.

The iPad allows users to watch video, listen to music, play games, surf the Web or read electronic books.

The cheapest iPad model, with Wi-Fi connectivity and 16 gigabytes of memory, is 499 dollars while the most expensive - which includes 3G connectivity and 64GB of memory - costs 829 dollars.

Apple announced on June 22 that it has sold more than three million iPads since the device went on sale in the United States on April 3.

Apple has not updated the sales figures since but then the California gadget maker is to announce its fiscal third quarter results on Tuesday.