Brits and Japanese queue all night for iPad

It didn’t quite match the iPad’s US launch, but hundreds of people waited outside Apple’s London store all night to snap up one of the devices when it opened at 8.00 this morning.

The price isn’t quite the same either, at £429 for the basic Wifi-only version, rising to £699 for the 16GB Wifi/3G model. But at least the Brits have a choice of carrier: Orange is charging £25 per month for up to 10GB, with the 3 network asking £7.50 for 1GB. Vodaphone offers 5GB a month for £25.

The British are famous for their ability to stand in line – sorry, queue – and the wait was a civilized affair. Customers were divided

into groups and given little cards to establish their place in the line.

A few lucky customers who preordered got their iPads a day early. But many others are likely to be disappointed. Those who preordered and weren’t lucky to be among the first batch of deliveries look set to have to wait another ten days.

Today is also launch day in France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Germany, along with Japan, Australia and Canada. And Japanese fanboys put the rest of the world to shame, with a line estimated at 1,200 people at one Tokyo store.

Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands will have to wait until July to show their devotion to the new device.