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FAQ: Canadians Buying iPads from the USA

by on April 14th, 2010

Okay, so it looked like the April 24th rumour about the iPad launch in Canada has taken a twist. Not because we were wrong, but because Apple threw everybody a curve ball. I’ve spoken to my source and the so called ‘black out’ date still stands, and actually has been extended into May.

The iPad will be released on May 29th in Canada, with preorders starting on May 10th. Can’t wait that long for your iPad (here’s our prediction on Canadian pricing)? Then you should head down south to pick one up. With our strong Canadian dollar, I can’t think of a better time to head across the border!

This FAQ will address any questions related to buying an iPad in the USA and bringing it back for use in Canada. Feel free to add more information in the comments if you wish!

——Buying an iPad from the USA——

How much is an iPad in the USA?
– WiFi models: $499/16GB, $599/32GB, $699/64GB
– WiFi + 3G models: $629/16GB, $729/32GB, $829/64GB

Are there any differences in specs between US and Canadian iPad models?
– No. They are the same.

Can I use my Canadian credit card at US Apple Stores?
– Yes. Expect to pay your credit card’s USD exchange rate. But right now, you’re sitting pretty with our strong CDN dollar!

What taxes will I have to pay on iPad purchases in the States?
– You’ll have to pay local State taxes, depending on where you purchase it. My suggestion: drive to Oregon to save (no State tax)! 😉

Will I have to pay duty on my iPad purchase? What about GST/PST?
– No to duty on your iPad. Yes to GST/PST.

Will my USA iPad one year warranty still be valid in Canada?
– Yes, when the iPad is finally launched in Canada. Any warranty issues prior to the Canadian launch, will have to be serviced in the USA.

Will my Applecare warranty be valid in Canada?
– Yes. Applecare is valid throughout the world. So if you buy Applecare from the USA, it’ll work in Canada.

Will Apple.com ship to Canada?
– No.

How can I order an iPad from Apple.com?
**edit** April 16/10: Seems like Apple is canceling orders via Borderlinx. Your results may vary. Let us know if Borderlinx worked for you.
– Use a mail forwarding service, such as Borderlinx. If you sign up using your VISA card, they will waive the $30 registration fee, and you will save 10% off shipping costs for a year.
– Ensure that you call your credit card to add your US forwarding address for your order to complete.

What iPad accessories should I buy?
– Read my review of the Apple iPad case and dock. Personally I like the case, even though it attracts dust easily.

I have a headache. What’s the easiest way to get an iPad from the US?
– Get a friend to bring one back for you (Thanks Ben)! LOL 😉

——–iPad App Store——–

Is the Canadian iPad App Store the same as the US iPad App Store?
– No. The CDN iPad App Store is not live yet. Therefore, you will be unable to download iBooks and iWork, and other US-specific apps.

Can I use my Canadian iTunes account to download apps on the iPad directly?
– No. You will require a US iTunes account.

How can I download FREE apps to my iPad then?!
Option A: Download free iPad apps on your computer through iTunes–sync to iPad.
Option B: Create a US iTunes account without credit card. Login on iPad and download directly.

How can I download PAID apps to my iPad? (edited thanks to @wildsau)
– Search for “HD” apps within iTunes and purchase with your CDN iTunes account.

What if I want to download US-specific apps, such as iBooks or iWork?
Option A: Create a US iTunes account with a Vanilla MasterCard from Shoppers Drug Mart/Safeway
Option B: Buy US iTunes Gift cards from any US Apple Store, or store that sells Apple gift cards. Use with US iTunes account.

**Note: A US iTunes account is convenient, but once the Canadian iPad App Store is launched, updating apps will be a pain as you’ll have to switch back and forth. If you can’t wait to try iBooks, and iWork (Pages, Numbers, Keynote) this is the route to go.

What are some must have iPad apps?
– Check out my current Top 5 Favourite iPad Apps.

Did you make the trek to the USA to get your iPad (or order online to a US address)? Share your experiences with others looking to do the same!

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Posted under: iPad News, Recommendations, Tutorials

  • TS

    These FAQs are not all accurate. You can easily download paid iPad apps from the Canadian iTunes store – I've been doing it since last weekend. The only thing is not quite all apps are available such as the iBooks, and the Apple apps. Also US specific apps are not available, and likely won't be when iPad launches here – such as ABC's app and Netflix's app – for now anyway. Unless you desperately need the Apple apps right away, go ahead with your Canadian account – search for any apps with HD in the name and you'll find plenty you can get free and paid.

  • SG

    Do you think they'll be issues with getting the Rogers 3G iPad package in Canada on a US iPad (i.e. will Rogers support microSIM) and will they care/know if you bought it in the US.

  • Questions edited to reflect purchasing apps from the Cdn iTunes Store.

  • These iPads are sold unlocked so I don't think there will be an issue.

  • Wuju

    No iPad warranty in Canada but Apple care warranty is ok. What is the difference? Can someone elaborate? Thanks.

  • Wuju

    I've been doing exactly that. 🙂 Will get the Apple Page when it's available in Canada.

  • Wuju

    Say if there's a wifi problem or battery problem due to manufacturing defects. We are not covered then?

  • Not until it officially launches in Canada

  • VG

    There's a difference between “warranties are only valid in the country origin of purchase” and “warranties are only valid in the country origin of purchase….until the product launches in your country”. Can someone shed some light as to which statement is correct?

  • Post updated. Refresh.

    If you buy an iPad in the USA, your one year warranty is only good in the
    USA. Vice versa for Canada.

  • VG

    Absolutely untrue. I *just* got off the phone with Apple and they have confirmed that the warranty, as with all their other products, is GLOBAL.

  • Yes, but when a product is NOT available in another country, the warranty is NOT available either, free or paid

  • VG

    Mr. Ex is correct.

    Until the iPad is launched here, any warranty claims will need to be mailed into Apple. That's the only problem.

    Suppose someone buys an iPad in New York and then moves to the UK…or Canada…or Israel. Is the warranty automatically invalid? No. If Apple has a presence in that country AND the product is being sold in that country, you can walk into any Apple store for warranty support. Otherwise, you can mail the product back to the US and they will mail you a replacement. Your warranty is not invalidated simply because you chose to move.

    Call Apple and ask (1-800-MY-APPLE).

  • Wuju

    So once the product (iPad) is available in Canada, then we would have all the warranty cover by Apple. If that is true, then it's all good.

  • VG

    Wuju, you have full warranty from the minute you purchase it. The difference is that before the iPad is launched here, you will need to mail the iPad back to a US depot for service. After the iPad is launched here, you can go into an Apple store or mail it to a Canadian depot for service.

  • Yes. Gary's FAQ is a little backward. It's being fixed

  • smartshoppingg

    How can I reserve ipad 3g model online for pick up at apple store in the states?

  • Thanks for the clarification, but Apple support did not explain it to me like this. They said if you buy a product in the USA, the “one year warranty” would only apply in the country where you bought the item, unless you purchased Applecare, which makes the warranty global.

    So, say right now I had warranty issues with my iPhone 3GS purchased from Rogers. With just the “one year warranty”, I could take my 3GS to an Apple store in Seattle for a warranty repair? Maybe I was misinformed, but that's what I got out of my discussions with customer support.

    I'll update the FAQ.

  • VG

    That's correct Gary. All Apple warranties are global.

    I've actually had experience with this with an iPod purchased in Canada and serviced in the US.

  • Tim Gray

    I tried the mail forwarding service initially, but Apple cancelled my order “we don't ship to mail forwarding services…” Given the hassel with the iStore I'll probably wait until release in Canada…

  • After the delay of Canadian launch was announced, I talked to a friend in Texas and had him pick me up a 64GB iPad at his local Apple Store (They only had 64GB in stock). He happens to be travelling up here tomorrow – and I will have a shiny new iPad, then!

  • Nice!!


  • Audrey

    I followed all the above steps and Apple cancelled my order! Fail!

  • crobi

    If I bought the US iPad 3G will it work on the cellular network in Canada or is specific to the ATT network ?

    And the opposite, if I buy the iPad 3G in Canada, did I will be able to buy 1 month of data on ATT when I'm in the state?

  • Who did you order with? Borderlinx?


  • Yes. Ipads are sold unlocked.


  • Audrey

    Gary, Yes, Borderlinx.


  • Did you order through Borderlinx's website, or did you order through Apple.com and use your Borderlinx US address?

    I've been hearing issues about this and I'd like to know which one! Thx.


    Sent from my iPad

  • Audrey

    I ordered through apple.com and used my borderlinx US address. Sigh. I'm going to drive to Buffalo tomorrow. Cross your fingers that they'll still have stock by the time I get there!


  • Wow, that's surprising. You added the Borderlinx US address to your credit
    card too right? And it still got canceled? Time to revise the FAQ.

  • Nutmeg

    I'm a bit confused about the App situation. If I buy a wifi (non-3G) iPad in the States and use a US itunes account to access Apps like iWork and iBooks – is it possible to download things while in Canada (via wifi) – or can I only download when actually in the US?
    Also, if I do the above, can I then use a Canadian itunes account to access the Cdn itunes store & apps once they are available up here?

  • Items you download in US iTunes can be redownloaded in Canada. You'll just need to sign into the App Store with your US account.

    Yes. It's just that switching accounts can be tedious.


    Sent from my iPad

  • Audrey

    Yes, I did. Exactly what you said in the FAQ So – I wondered if your FAQ resulted in a ton of orders to Borderlinx, which caused this problem? What do you think?

  • No, I don't think it was this post that caused the problems. I have read on MacRumors that others using Borderlinx got their orders cancelled by Apple. Seems like Apple does not like mail services.


    Sent from my iPad

  • Andre

    Looks like many retail stores (Best buy… ) are out of stock, at least those near the borders from Montreal.
    Is there a way to know from Apple website if they have some available at a specific Apple Store, or I have to call them one by one…

  • Andre

    Looks like many retail stores (Best buy… ) are out of stock, at least those near the borders from Montreal.
    Is there a way to know from Apple website if they have some available at a specific Apple Store, or I have to call them one by one…

  • Hangingwithchad

    Anyone been tor the Bellingham Best Buy recently? Wondering if they have any stock.

  • Instead of using a mail forwarding service, you can have your order sent to a US border location where you can then drive across and pick it up yourself. I work for a company called Kinek and we have locations all across the US border where Canadians can have US order shipped to. As soon as your package arrives at one of our locations we will send you a text message and email notification letting you know it is there. You can then drive down and pick it up. While each locations has its own prices, we typically charge between $3-$5 per package.

    You can check out the service at http://www.kinek.com/border

    We have locations in:
    Calais, Maine
    Derby Line, Vermont
    Richford, Vermont
    Champlain, New York
    Wellesley Island, New York
    Buffalo, New York
    Lewiston (Niagara Falls), New York
    Detroit, Michigan
    Marine City, Michigan
    Port Huron, Michigan
    Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan
    Pembina, North Dakota

    You can also check out our cross border shopping site shiptotheborder.com



  • Nutmeg

    I would love to know too! I thought you had to go to an Apple Store only.

  • erikkri

    I was told in the Apple Store that my warranty would not be valid outside the USA. They even said that Apple Care for the ipad was different than for other products, and would not help me outside the USA. Can anyone point me to any written document on the apple website to confirm that the warranty would be valid outside the USA?

  • kdarch

    I was at the Bellingham Best Buy this past Friday the 16th and they were totally sold out!

  • kdarch

    I would like to know this as well. I have a friend travelling to New York this week and is hopefully going to get me an iPad

  • Nutmeg

    As an FYI – my iPad order was just canceled. When I called to find out what was up, they said that their “2 per customer” limit was actually street address based, rather than based on name or credit card number. So, if you live in a shared house and 2 people have already ordered, you're outta luck! For me, I have a receiving company I use just across the line (the company's name isn't in the address at all – just my name and the street address – I've never had a problem before – they can sign for stuff etc.). But Apple said no go because 2 people had already used that address. Am very sad!! :o( My other US address is a PO box and they don't ship to those either. :o(

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  • James

    Im confused: When i click on my ipad app icon (im in Canada) i get the message, “cannot connect to App store, not supported in country”. I assume that is the USA app store. How do i get into the Canadian App store from my ipad? I can purchase from iTunes with no problem, Im baffled?
    … and … my ipad doesn't sync with my mac computer which i thought it would?
    any idea's, thanks

  • Reread the FAQ in case you missed the part about the Cdn App Store.
    Since the CDN app store isn't live in Canada, you can only use a US
    iTunes account to download apps straight on the ipad. 😉


  • To add to that, you can access the Canadian iPad Store from a computer. At least I can.

  • Cal

    Question about the duty: The FAQ says

    Will I have to pay duty on my iPad purchase? What about GST/PST?
    – No to duty on your iPad. Yes to GST/PST.

    Since the iPads aren't made in North America (AFAIK), they would not be covered under NAFTA. Why then is there no duty? Is this only if you have stayed in the U.S longer than 7 days? I will be in the U.S on business for 3 – 4 days and was thinking of getting one.

  • Cal

    I found my answer re: duties on the iPad.
    For anyone who wanted a little more clarification or 'peace of mind' that your iPad will be duty free (although the FAQ above correctly stated that it would be), check out the following which I found at a customs and duty-focused website (http://import-export.suite101.com/article.cfm/l…).


    iPad Tariff Duties and Taxes

    The 10-digit harmonized system (HS) code for iPads is:

    * 8471.30.01.00 in the U.S.
    * 8471.30.00.00 in Canada.

    Both countries use the World Customs Organization tariff item description of “portable automatic data processing machines, weighing not more than 10 kg, consisting of at least a central processing unit, a keyboard and a display”. The iPad falls under this tariff classification, as do computer netbooks and notebooks.

    Under this tariff classification, imported iPads are duty free.

    iPads are subject to federal, state and provincial taxes. For example, importers in Canada pay 5% on a shipment’s value for duty in goods and services tax (GST). Value for duty excludes the shipping and insurance charges. In this case, Canadian importers have to pay 5% on the iPad’s $380 value for duty. This amounts to an extra $19 in charges.

    In Ontario, 8% provincial sales tax (PST) is also collected unless the shipment is for a registered commercial importer. A casual importer from Ontario is charged $30.40 in PST. Of course, the percentage of local sales tax can vary depending on the province or state in which the importer lives.


    Also, note that in many US states you can claim any state sales tax you pay on your way out of the state. I will be heading to Texas and found this website which gives tips on how to get back the sales tax you pay when you buy your iPad:


  • jreneeclark

    upon reading the above website it looks like this refers to an ipad bought in China. Correct me if I'm wrong. It also looks like it will cost an additional $100 to drive it across the border in Ontario

  • Lee

    It depends how long you go to the states for, I was there for a week in Miami so you get $750 to bring back. So I put $500 on my customs form and told the guy at customs I bought an iPad. I didn't have to pay any GST I paid nothing.

  • Lee

    You can only reserve them in the store that's what I had to do, went in reserved it and it was there the next day. It's an internal site they reserve it on.

  • I just picked up my iPad this morning. Ordered online from U.S. site and had it shipped to the UPS Store in Lewiston. They accepted the iPad and called me as soon as it came in. Short drive over the border to pick it up. Just another option for you. The store told me they have had a number of iPad deliveried for Canadians at their location so alot of us must have figured out how to get one if we really want it. Just call them at (716)405-7116 if you need to have something delivered to them.

  • Mike

    I figured it would cost me ca. $200 to drive to Buffalo from where I am (Cobourg) and pay the tax, plus about 8-10 hours of my time. I looked on Kijiji for someone selling an iPad in Toronto for 2-300 over price, and there turned out to be several. The result was I picked mine up from him two days after Apple's release in the US and I've been enjoying my iPad for weeks.

  • Michael

    I've purchased a iPad in the US. Works great! I understand that the Canadian App Store is not yet up, presumably it will go live when the iPad is officially launched here next Friday May 29th? When I tap the App Store icon on my Pad i get an error message saying “The App Store is not yet available in your area”.

    Am I correct in assuming that as of May 29th the App Store icon on my iPad as well as the App Store in the Canadian version of iTunes will go live and I will be able to FINALLY begin to download my Apps?

  • Yes.

    You can bypass this by:

    1. Downloading ipad apps on your computer then syncing


    2. Create a US iTunes account.

    Check out our top posts!

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  • hi, so it looked like the April 24th rumour about the iPad launch in Canada has taken a twist. .

  • Austin

    i have a friend who can get me an iPad 64gig 3G for around 700.
    i think they are from the US? if i buy one and bring it to rogers to set up the data plan:
    1. will it work and will the app store work fine?
    2. will all go over well at rogers when i bring it in ?
    thanks in advance

  • All 3G iPads are unlocked. It should be fine to work with Rogers.

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  • Rocket

    If I am in the USA for over two weeks I understand I can bring back $750 of duty free , if I buy an ipad2 and it is under this amount do I still have to pay hst on the ipad when I get to the border

  • Gabe Nisker

    Do you HAVE to create a US iTunes? Or can you just leave it until it’s released in Canada? Here, I’m talking about iPad 2….

  • Anonymous

    I’m buying the iPad 2 and I found this guide pretty helpful. I have a BundleBox account in Kentucky, and I’m in Ontario. If I use my normal billing address, will I get charged 13%HST or the 6% Kentucky tax?

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  • Abdulkalamsiraj

    i am workin dubai i want buy ipad 2 in us wi fi +3G (I CAN USE IN DUBAI?)

  • Yes

  • Mike Moore

    Can you buy the Applecare in Canada if I buy my iPad in the states?

  • voodoo101

    If I buy an ipad 2 in Florida (at&t sim) can I substitute with a Roger’s sim when I come home?

  • voodoo101

    Should I request an unlocked one, or buy the At&T version?

  • are those prices still ok?