Gadget lovers in India can now own an iPad 2 for 24,500 rupees, with Apple Inc slashing its price worldwide on Thursday following the launch of a new third-generation, 4G-ready tablet.

The new iPad was introduced by Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook in San Francisco on Thursday and will hit store shelves next week in several countries. The company said it will continue to sell the iPad 2 but dropped its price by $100 in the U.S.

In India, the 16 GB base model of the iPad 2 that works only on Wi-Fi is now priced at 24,500 rupees, down from 29,500 rupees earlier.

iPad 2 is now offered at a more affordable price of INR 24,500, inc VAT for the 16GB Wi-Fi model (INR 23,333 exVAT) and just INR 32,900, inc VAT for the 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G model (INR 31,333 exVAT), Apple India said in a press release on Thursday.

A company spokesman said the price cut will be across the board for all iPad 2 models in India.

There was no information on when the new 4G-ready iPad will be available in India.