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iPad available elsewhere; Android offers more tablet options

The FT has pulled its app from the App Store

The Apple iPad will be available in nine countries beyond the US from the end of this month, with pre-ordering starting from today, May 10.

Consumers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK will be the first outside of the US to get their hands on the iPad on May 28.

UK pricing for the hardware is as follows:

Wifi only
16GB 32GB 64GB
£429 £499 £599
Wifi and 3G
16GB 32GB 64GB
£529 £599 £699

UK operators Orange, O2 and Vodafone have also announced their data plans:

From the looks of it, Vodafone’s offering is the most restrictive and O2’s is the most flexible. Yet if you’re a heavy data user, Orange would be the way to go with its 10GB offering.

But at the price point the iPad sells at, Android is offering up stiff competition. French consumer electronics firm Archos has unveiled an Android-based tablet device for the UK market coming in at £129.

The Android-based Archos 7

The Archos 7 tablet sports a 7” touch screen (800×480) and a form factor 12mm thick, weighing 350g.It has built in wifi but no 3G. Preinstalled apps have the device ready for music streaming, social networking, e-books, and web browsing out of the box.

In related news, Finnish handset giant Nokia has put in a complaint with the Federal District Court in the Western District of Wisconsin, alleging that the Apple iPhone and iPad 3G infringe five Nokia patents.

The patents in question relate to technologies for speech and data transmission, positioning data in applications and antenna configurations that improve performance and save space, allowing smaller and more compact devices.

Expect this one to drag on for some considerable time.

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