It’s been reported yesterday, that the Israeli computer stores chain – “BUG”, will start selling iPads, as early as next week. This is even before the official Apple distributors – “iDigital” are able to do so. BUG will only sell wifi iPads for now, at the following reported prices:
iPad wifi 16gb – 3,799nis & iPad wifi 64gb – 4,899nis. BUG will offer service & repairs by their labs and market the iPads with a one year guarantee, as opposed to the official iDigital Apple labs. That means that if the device is repaired by BUG, that would probably void the original Apple warranty.
iDigital responded to these publications harshly, stating that selling these iPads, without official Apple repair services and support is irresponsible, and even misleading, because the iPads don’t have hebrew support yet. They commented that customers should be patient for a few more weeks, until iDigital start marketing them with the original warranty and at better prices.
I must say, that there is an element of truth to what iDigital is saying, but the picture is not as bleak as they paint it. For example, hebrew support is not officially implemented in the current iPad iOS, but the moment it is updated to support Hebrew, it will work the same for iPads bought from BUG as it would for iPads bought from iDigital. Not to mention, if you decide on jailbreaking your iPad, you can pay 8$ (~30nis) for unofficial Hebrew support by Tom Zickel, which is satisfactory for most users.
Regarding pricing – although prices might, as iDigital say, be cheaper with them – they would still be not as cheap as buying them abroad. So, unless you can get them that way, I would listen to iDigital and wait a bit longer. Having said that, I love my iPad dearly, and i’m really glad I didn’t need to wait for Apple to stock it’s official distributors here.