Since getting my iPad I have had some questions about using a US imported iPad in the UK. With only 17 days until the official UK launch, I wasn’t going to bother writing an article, however because you can make a nice saving from purchasing an iPad in the US this information is still valid.
The first thing to note is that although the iPad is “Designed in California”, it is manufactured in China. So no matter where in the world you buy an iPad, it started life in China. This is actually an advantage for importing as it means that each iPad is designed to the same specification with only the peripherals being country independent (power adapter, etc). Instead of providing a lengthly back story about how Apple handle their international sales, I thought would jump straight to the good stuff. In the examples below I have made the assumption that you are in the UK and importing from the US, however this information should be the same for any country.
Can I charge the iPad? Yes - The iPad comes with a standard Apple USB cable and power brick with interchangeable AC adapter plugs. You can either charge directly from a USB port on any modern computer or purchase the Apple World Travel Adapter Kit, which will provide you with required AC adapter plugs. If you already own an iPhone, iPod Touch or Mac charger then you can actually remove the AC adapter plug and connect it to your iPad power brick. This will work instantly and save you the cost of the world travel adapter kit.
Can I charge the iPad with my iPhone charger? Yes (although not recommended) - The iPhone power adapter is 5W verses 10W for the iPad power adapter. As a result it should not damage your iPad, however charge time will be significantly increased. As stated in the previous answer, if you own an iPhone charger you can simply remove the AC adapter plug and connect it to you iPad power brick, this will give you the full 10W charging potential.
Does wireless work? Yes (Standard 802.11a/b/g/n)
Does 3G work? Yes (Standard GSM used by all major carriers in the UK)
Can I connect to the UK iTunes? Yes - The only difference is that you won’t have access to the entire iPad App catalogue until it is officially made available in the UK (May 28th). You can however access the US catalogue by setting up a free US iTunes account (see below for more details).
Can I use my iTunes content bought in the UK? Yes - any content bought in the UK with your UK Apple ID (music, video, books, apps, etc) will all sync like normal to your US iPad. It is also fine to have content purchased from multiple countries (under different Apple ID’s) on the same iPad. The only difference is that when updating the content you will need to eneter the correct Apple ID for that country.
Is there anything else I should worry about? No, enjoy your iPad.
The final part of the article is to explain how to connect and use the US iTunes store to download apps for your iPad. You only need to do this if you have imported an iPad to a country where it is not officially available, for the UK thats anytime before May 28th.
First, open iTunes (any version / Mac OS X or Windows) and click “iTunes Store”. From here scroll down to the bottom and click on the country flag (it should be set to your current default).
You will now be presented with a list of all the iTunes stores globally. Select “United States”.
Once the US iTunes store has loaded, click “AppStore” and “iPad” to load the available iPad specific content. Scroll down to the “Free Apps” section and click the “Free” button on one of the apps. I went for iBooks as you will probably want it anyway. It is important to complete this step for the next phase to work.
Before you can download the app you will be asked to login to iTunes. As you dont have a US account click “Create New Account”.
You will now have to click through a couple of standard screens and enter a new (valid) e-mail address (I suggest you grab one from Google). Finally you will be prompted to select your payment method and enter an address. If everything has gone to plan you should be presented with the option “None” for payment. Now you just need to enter a valid US address and you are good to go.
Now you can download as many free apps as you want for your iPad and even purchase apps if you add an Apple iTunes gift voucher which can be bought online (the code is e-mailed to you).