An expected surprise last night came when Apple finally announced the iPad 2 local (Australian) pricing – just days before it’s in-store release.

As predicted, the price is lower than the iPad 1 was at launch, and has managed to break the magical (pardon the pun) $600 price mark, and lower than $1000 top end mark.

So, prices are from $579 up to $949 – making the iPad 2 still right in there on the highly competitive side of the tablet pricing wars.

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With a Blackberry Tablet (Playbook) due in the next month or so, and Samsung’s 10 inch model coming too, pricing is (on this rare occasion for Apple) a big selling point for the iPad 2.

Fortunately the Aussie dollar has helped consumers on this occasion – what’s interesting is that Hong Kong and Singapore are not getting the iPad this week, instead they have to wait until next month.

In Australia, iPad 2 with Wi-Fi will be available for a recommended retail price (RRP) of:

  • $579 inc GST for the 16GB model,
  • $689 inc GST for the 32GB model,
  • $799 inc GST the 64GB model.

iPad 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G will be available for a RRP of:

  • $729 inc GST for the 16GB model,
  • $839 inc GST for the 32GB model and
  • $949 inc GST for the 64GB model.

Avaliable at Apple Stores an selected Apple re-sellers at 5pm Friday – yes, late in the day, following the US lead.  Something different from Apple, likely to allow the shake up of the News Cycle, but also potentially attract some end of the week after work buyers in the city?