It may be launch day for the iPad in North America today, but there's no sign of the iPad anywhere locally. Twiddlesticks! By my informal reckoning it will take one to two weeks for any iPads to say "Hello Philippines, mabuhay." Unless you pre-ordered an iPad from the U.S. Apple Store, that is. Otherwise, here are your options in hunting for an iPad:
1. Pre-order via U.S. Apple Store
If you have an international credit card WITH a U.S. billing address, you can pre-order an iPad from apple.com. Pre-order is not available from Apple Store Philippines. Like I mentioned earlier, if you pre-ordered early enough, you should be getting your iPad on launch, today. If you pre-order today, the earliest they will ship is April 12. Shipping takes approximately six days, according to the website, and international shipping is available. Of course, you can always Johnny Air it.
ETA: April 18 at the earliest, depending on shipping
2. Local retail
Phoned iStudio and Power Mac Center today in the hopes that they had the inside track on getting iPads. Though they said they were very interested in selling iPads, they said that there weren't any units in the Philippines right now.
iStudio volunteered a little more information, telling us that the first units that land here are going straight to the NTC for approval. Once the NTC approves the device, then they will be allowed to sell iPads to you and me.
ETA: Only God -- or the NTC -- knows
The time-honored tradition of stuffing electronics in your balikbayan box and selling them in Greenhills is alive and well, thankyou very much. Expect iPads to be popping up in V-Mall in the next few days. Don't expect them to be cheap. There will be a healthy markup involved.
ETA: This week
4. Friends and relatives
Your best bet right now is to have a buddy line up for you at the nearest U.S. Apple Store and have him ship the goods as soon as he gets his hands on an iPad. You know the drill!
ETA: When your buddy feels like it