Apple iPad to cost just $499

iPad, not cheap but definitely cheerful
iPad, not cheap but definitely cheerful

Apple has announced pricing for its iPad tablet device and the good news is that it's cheaper than most of the tech world expected it to be.

Starting from $499, the Apple iPad is available in three disk-sized flavours: 16GB, 32GB and 64GB.

If you want to shell out less than $500 then you will have to purchase the 16GB version with Wi-Fi but no 3G. Adding 3G to your package is going to cost you an extra $129 ($629).

The most expensive version of the Apple iPad is the 64GB 3G-ready version which will set you back $829 – still cheaper than those who were expecting the device to fly at around $1,000.

If you are packing 3G, then you have the choice of the following data packages: $14.99 for 250MB data $29.99 for unlimited - via AT&T.

March launch for UK

As we expected, with the lack of UK press invitation, the Apple iPad isn't expected to arrive in the UK just yet.

It seems that if you are looking for a UK release date for the Apple iPad, then it will be available in March Wi-Fi only. Of you want the 3G version, then start saving for some time in June or July - that's when the data carriers will be ready in the UK.

The price is a relief for some who were thinking it may be much higher.

Steve Jobs knows this: "If you listen to the pundits, we're going to price it under $1000, which is code for $999," he said in his keynote.

"When we set out to develop this, we had ambitious tech goals, but we had aggressive price goals."

The reason for the low-ish prices: "We wanted to put it in the hands of a lot of people."

Couldn't have put it better ourselves.

This article has been updated

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.