The new iPad has hit shelves across Australia with many enthusiastic Apple devotees queuing outside stores to be among the first to get their hands on the coveted gadget.
PHOTOS: Apple unveils new iPad
Australians are the first in the world to get their hands on the third-generation tablet, which went on sale at 12.01am (AEDT) on Friday in two Telstra stores in Sydney and Melbourne.
This was eight hours before Apple and other retailers officially open their doors to the public.
Despite the absence of queues outside the Apple Store, Telstra remains optimistic about the iPad 3's release.
"Every time we see an Apple launch we see huge queues - and that's at the Apple store and at our Telstra stores," Telstra spokesman Craig Middleton told reporters in Sydney on Thursday.
The company, which will offer early customers food and entertainment, says it already has "a lot of stock under lock-and-key" and expects a plentiful supply in coming weeks.
Mr Middleton said that although the new iPad is not compatible with Telstra's faster 4G network - only with limited 4G systems abroad - it does support the company's upgraded 3G system.
"Sixty per cent of Australians will have access to the fastest iPads in the country," he said.
Optus began selling the iPad at 12.01am online, while its stores and Vodafone retailers will make them available during normal trading hours.
The new device will also be launched on Friday in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
The next launches will be on March 23 in about 25 countries including New Zealand, Austria, Belgium, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain and Sweden.
Prices for the new iPad with wi-fi range between $A539 and $A759 (outright), and from $A679 to $A899 (outright) for the wi-fi/4G version.
The device is also available on plans, starting from $48 per month.