Friday, April 16, 2010

'Surprisingly strong' demand delays iPad abroad


“Why buy iPad… when you have the new line of MacBook Pro’s…” –MKK-

Bad news for overseas techies dying to get their hands on Apple's "magical" new tablet: looks like you'll have to wait an extra month for your iPad.

Apple released a statement early Wednesday citing "surprisingly strong U.S. demand" as the reason for the delay, which will push the iPad's international debut back until the "end of May." Apple says it'll start taking international iPad pre-orders and reveal pricing details May 10.
In its announcement Wednesday, Apple claims it's "delivered more than 500,000 iPads during its first week" of U.S. sales and that "demand is far higher than we predicted and will likely continue to exceed our supply over the next several weeks." Apple also notes that it's already received "a large number of pre-orders" for the 3G-embedded version of the iPad, still due by "late April."

Now, it's not clear what Apple means by "delivered" — it could mean sold or merely shipped — but Steve Jobs did say at Apple's iPhone OS 4.0 event last Thursday that 450,000 iPads had already been sold up to that point, so 500,000 iPads sold in its first week sounds plausible.

But not everyone is taking Apple's excuse for the delay at face value.

Larry Dignan at ZDNet sees "a few missing elements" in Apple's statement Wednesday, including the fact that "Apple's store isn't out of stock" (it's currently showing a shipping time of five to seven days) "and iPads appear available." Are we talking "a conscious decision by Apple to make sure it can satisfy U.S. demand first," Dignan wonders, or "a case of manufactured shortage?"

And Gizmodo asks, "Is a pile of 500,000 iPads really more than Apple expected to sell by this point?" Well, whether it's a conspiracy or not, the fact remains that international gadget hounds will have to wait a few weeks longer for their iPads.

Full release follows:

Although we have delivered more than 500,000 iPads during its first week, demand is far higher than we predicted and will likely continue to exceed our supply over the next several weeks as more people see and touch an iPad™. We have also taken a large number of pre-orders for iPad 3G models for delivery by the end of April.

Faced with this surprisingly strong US demand, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the international launch of iPad by one month, until the end of May. We will announce international pricing and begin taking online pre-orders on Monday, May 10. We know that many international customers waiting to buy an iPad will be disappointed by this news, but we hope they will be pleased to learn the reason—the iPad is a runaway success in the US thus far.

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