It’s bad news time, folks.
We tweeted earlier today that we had heard a rumour of an iPad announcement on the horizon. We were right, but unfortunately it’s not the news Australian Apple fans have been waiting to hear. Apple has pushed back the international release of the iPad until the end of May, with pre-orders from 10 May.
The press release from Apple states that demand has been so high that it will not have enough stock to launch in April as planned. Here is the press release 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 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.
Well Apple, we are pleased that it’s been a ‘runaway success’, but that doesn’t make up for the fact that the precious iPads we were expecting in the next few weeks won’t be arriving. Whilst it’s good to know a date when pricing will finally be announced, hearing that we have to wait another month isn’t quite what we were after.
The image on Apple’s Australian homepage has been changed (see screenshot) to reflect the new release date — “Coming late May”. Looks like it’s even a slightly different font, so it was clearly a rushed job. Thanks for breaking our hearts, Apple.
Industry analysts are giving their thoughts on the announcement. Tim Renowden from Ovum says the iPad’s high-end components including the Apple-designed A4 processor and 9.7in screen will take Apple’s manufacturing partners time to produce in significant volumes. As a result,”[i]f Apple’s tightly-managed supply chain is genuinely stretched by unexpected demand, Apple is sensible to push back its international launch and focus on the strong demand in its home market and on meeting existing pre-orders for the 3G version of the iPad,” he says. Ovum goes so far as to estimate Apple will ship 13 million iPads globally by the end of 2011.