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PC World gets almost-exclusive iPad deal

D'you want Mastercare with that?

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If you want to buy an iPad on Friday, and you aren't near an Apple store, you'd best get down to PC World or Currys.

Dixons Store Group International has got a 60-day exclusive to sell the giant phoneless iPhone in 139 stores.

Pre-orders are only available through Apple's own shops. The magic pad will also be on sale in Best Buy, Thurrock.

The gadgets will be available from 9am in 70 PC World stores, 28 Curry, 22 Dixons Travel shops and in 19 joint Currys/PC World outlets, the Times reports.

A spokesman for DSGi told us: "We can confirm that the information in The Times article is correct and Apple will be announcing their distribution plans in the next few days."

The PC World website already has an "ipad_has_arrived" URL - but the page itself is currently blank.

A ring-round by the Register earlier this month found independent Apple retailers irritated at the restrictions and Apple's refusal to tell them what was going on.*

Larger partners like John Lewis are likely to feel equally sidelined.

Anyone ordering an iPad through Apple's website will likely have to wait too - it was warning that boxes would be shipping 7 June, the site now says simply "June". ®

* We've been contacted by other Apple dealers who insist they will have iPads on Friday. We'll have more on this tomorrow.

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