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Emails went around the world today confirming that the iPad 3G is available to order either online or to buy in store. Admittedly they only went around the world to people who'd signed up to the American Apple website, and nobody outside that country can have one, but it's confirmation that they're on the way elsewhere.

Meanwhile the WiFi version goes on sale internationally next month. It's the 3G version that's most interesting, though.

One of the major points in the iPad's favour when the big product announcement happened a few months back was the price. Respected analysts had suggested it would cost at least $1000, probably more. When its price points were revealed there were whoops of joy all round, Apple was only charging twice as much as most other eBook reader manufacturers but that was OK because the new widget did a lot more stuff.

Now we have the iPad 3G. This is the really useful one because you can use it anywhere (see, I know how this stuff works). And because it's 3G, it's going to have a contract attached.

We don't have pricing in the UK where I am yet. But my iPhone costs £50 a month on the contract I have. That's around $76-$77. The question I have is: can I combine the data contract for the two gadgets somehow or do I have to take out a separate iPad contract if I decide to buy one when it's available?

This could become very expensive. Let's assume Apple and the rest are bright enough to realise that if the iPad can't do calls or texts, they can't charge as much for the contract - so they come in at a round £80 per month for the two devices, let's say around $100 per month for neatness.

No, the analysts were wrong, it's not going to cost $1000 at the point of purchase. But a computer which has yet to find any obvious killer application with an ongoing data contract - or even Pay As You Go - is still going to cost easily that much by the end of its life.

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