UK users have had a long wait for the iPad but at least the price premium will be relatively modest when it does arrive at the end of this month.

The most basic model, which comes with 16GB of internal memory and Wi-Fi will set users back £429 ($635 on a weak exchange rate), compared to $499 excluding sales taxes in the US. The 3G version with the same specification will cost £529.

The 32GB iPad will cost £499, the 64GB version £599. The equivalents for the 3G model will be £599 and £699 respectively, at which point the iPad is starting to compete directly with desirable laptops, including Apple’s own.

In truth, in usual Apple fashion the iPad has turned into a fairly expensive device in the same way that the iPhone became the most expensive app-phone. The iPhone was a hit in the UK, which is said to be Apple’s second biggest market for the device after the US. The iPad, however, will have to compete with devices such as laptops for consumer’s wallets.

Pre-orders for the enthusiastic are being taken from 10 may.

It's been a mixed few weeks for Apple, which has been mocked relentlessly after it called in the police over the leaking of the details of its next iPhone to a journalist.

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