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iPad stuck in US for extra month

Apple claims demand surprise

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Apple has delayed the international launch of the iPad by one month. The reason? According to an Apple media advisory, "demand is far higher than we predicted."

Although iPad wannabes outside the US won't be able to get their hands on the "magical and revolutionary" device until the end of May, Apple will announce international pricing and begin to accept pre-orders on May 10.

Apple also noted that it has sold "more than 500,000" iPads in its first week of US sales, and that Cupertino has received "a large number" of pre-orders for the iPad 3G, which is planned for release by the end of April.

"We know that many international customers waiting to buy an iPad will be disappointed by this news," the advisory notes, "but we hope they will be pleased to learn the reason - the iPad is a runaway success in the US thus far."

Of course, any media advisory must be understood as an exercise in spinmeistering. Perhaps the real reason for the delay in international shipments is due more to reported production problems.

Or perhaps sales are indeed strong in the US - one analyst estimated last week that iPad sales were actually over 600,000 - and Apple is experiencing manufacturing delays from either its parts suppliers, such touchscreen problems at Wintek, or production limitations of the device's assembler, Foxconn.

One thing is certain, however: if you don't live in the US and are jonesing for an iPad, you'll need to wait another month. At least. ®

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