Britons trawl internet for iPad news

Apple's unveiling of its iPad has piqued the interest of British shoppers, according to retail price comparison service InvisibleHand. It found that on the day that Apple presented the iPad – which has many of the functions of a laptop as well as the iPhone – to the world's press, 5 per cent of total internet searches in the UK for retail goods were for the new product.

"Anticipation over the iPad has been building up for months and our data shows that people were not disappointed with what they saw," says Robin Landy of InvisibleHand. "British consumers were whipped into more of a frenzy than the US. Over the pond the iPad accounted for just under 3 per cent of online shopping searches.

"The iPad is going to top most-wanted lists for months to come. As consumers look to get their hands on this new gadget they need to make sure that they have the right tools to get it at the best price. Real-time price comparison is essential if early adopters are to take advantage of an iPad price war."

The iPad will go on sale soon in the US but there is no firm release date in the UK. The half-inch-thick device, with a 9.7-inch touchscreen, will cost from $499 to $699 in the US. Users will be able to download games, films, books and newspapers from Apple's site.