CONSUMERS here will soon have a wide range of new computing tablets to choose from.
Next week, two Taiwanese makers, Asus and HTC, will unveil their models.
On Tuesday (April 26), Asus will lift the cover off its unique tablet cum laptop called the Eee Pad Transformer. The 10.1-inch screen slides into a keyboard dock and becomes a laptop.
Next Friday (April 29), smartphone maker HTC will debut the HTC Flyer, a 7-inch tablet. They will join Motorola Xoom, Acer Iconia tablets and others which hit retail outlets in recent weeks.
But the tablet many consumers here are waiting for is the Apple iPad 2. It went on sale on Mar 11 in the US and on Mar 25, in 25 countries like Australia and Canada.
Sales of iPad 2 have been so good that all stocks have sold out.
Consumers here are worried that no stock will be made available for Singapore and that the April deadline for its sale here will be postponed indefinitely.
I beg to differ. I have more than a glimmer of hope that iPad 2 sales will begin this month after I chanced upon a morsel of information from Apple’s April 20 conference call with stock market analysts for its second quarter financial results.
Apple’s chief operating officer Tim Cook said in that conference call, that the company was so confident about ramping up iPad 2 production that it will be "shipping to an additional 13 countries next week".
Although Mr Cook did not mention Singapore by name, I am sure it is on the list of 13 countries. It is unlikely that Apple will go back on its word.
So I am confident that the iPad 2 will be here this month. But when?
While Apple Singapore is keeping the date close to its heart, this much is known.
The iPad 2 will be sold in authorised Apple stores in Paragon, Wheelock Centre, Funan and other shopping malls.
Apple had always chosen Fridays to kick off sales of new iPhone models and the original iPad. It will do the same again for the iPad 2.
So mark April 29 on your calendar.
That’s when you can start buying the long-awaited iPad 2 here.