While U.S. gorges on iPads, rest of the world must wait

Apple announces delay of international release

Citing supply shortages created by an unexpectedly high demand, Apple today announced that those craving an iPad and living outside of the United States will just have to cool their jets.

From a story by my Network World colleague John Cox:

Apple announced on Wednesday it will delay releasing the iPad tablet internationally for a month, in a bid to cope with "far higher" than expected U.S. demand.

In a brief statement, the company repeated it had delivered over 500,000 of the touch tablets in the first week of availability in the U.S. That is much more than Apple expected and the demand "will likely continue to exceed our supply over the next several weeks."

Apple may find the demand surprising (or at least say so publicly), but that isn't so for everyone, as pre-release sales predictions by some industry analysts were nothing short of astonishing.

Of course, every time there is "shortage" news of this nature, conspiracy theories will flourish, as in there can be little better for spurring sales than spreading word that supplies won't last.

I don't think that's the case here.

Here's the Apple statement in full:

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 iPadTM. 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.

Pleased to learn the reason? ... Even by corporate PR standards, that's putting lipstick on an iPig.

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