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Apple's iPad resellers are revolting

Secrecy rules raise hackles

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Apple's Premium Resellers are getting iPads to sell on Friday - provided their shops pass Apple's stringent standards.

But retailers are irritated at Apple's insistence that they do not take pre-orders or publicise the launch on their websites or in store until Friday morning.

They were even more annoyed at DSGi's claim that it has an exclusive deal to sell the devices in the UK. Independent resellers will get iPads to sell, but only if they obey Apple's omertà.

An Apple dealer, speaking to us on condition of anonymity, said he was in the middle of re-merchandising his shop and training staff. Once this is complete he must email photographs to Apple for approval by 8pm on Thursday night. All being well he can then get on with selling the gadgets on Friday morning.

He said enquiries from punters had outstripped any other Apple launch he had worked on, with each store getting 15-20 queries a day. He said he had a "humongous list of would-be customers" and even had people asking if they could queue overnight to ensure they're near the front of the queue.

The official news is that Apple's own stores will open at 8am on Friday in order to deal with the flurry of breakfast news crews and fanbois desperate to get their hands on the gadgets.

Apple's UK website is now also showing independent retailers offering the pad - there's a link to London stores here.

We're also guessing, in the name of good news management, that shortages will quickly become a big story. ®

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