14 Comments

Summary:

Apple’s iPad is a “runaway success” — perhaps too much of one. Today, the company delayed international iPad ordering by a full month, citing high demand. Did Apple incorrectly forecast the product mix between the Wi-Fi and 3G models?

If you live outside the U.S. and are waiting to experience Apple’s iPad, your wait just became longer. Citing the product’s “runaway success,” Apple is postponing an international iPad launch by one full month. Pre-orders and pricing information for international iPad purchases will become available on May 10. Here is Apple’s full statement:

“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.”

So is this just a simple supply and demand issue? I don’t think so. My suspicion is that Apple didn’t predict the right product model mix between the Wi-Fi and 3G versions of its iPad.

Early sales estimates showed that nearly two of every three iPad orders were for Wi-Fi models. I personally find the device better suited to use in the home, where typically a Wi-Fi signal is available. Additionally, all early reviews and video demonstrations are based on the Wi-Fi model, which could be further generating consumer interest in it. Or it could just be that the first wave of buyers couldn’t wait until the end of April to get their hands on the device.

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By Kevin C. Tofel

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  1. Sanjay Maharaj Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    I had a feeling the demand would be higher then expected and I still maintian that Apple will blow analysyts projection’s on the sale of iPad for the first twelve months.

  2. This supposed worldwide launch iPad delay due to high US demand is just another carefully crafted Apple marketing overhype, the media is just lapping up Apple overhype for this overpriced half-baked device. 500,000 iPads, waiting to see the iPad join the netbook in the Walmart and Target electronics department

    1. So I take it that you spent time with the device and found it not to meet your needs? It might not be right for you – assuming you’ve used one — and that’s OK. But I wouldn’t expect to see it for sale in the venues you mention.

  3. Philly medical malpractice attorney Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    Whatever the reason may be, I’m sure that running low on supply due to higher than expected demand is a problem lots of companies would like to have. That being said I’m sure they hate to disappoint the waiting costumers.

  4. Is the American 3G release also pushed back to May?

    William, theamazingipad.com

    1. Apple didn’t officially mention any impact to the U.S. 3G models and the Apple Store site still indicates a late April ship date, so It looks like they’re still on track.

  5. Interesting to note that the WiFi versions are outselling the 3G versions. The mobile operators must be (behind closed doors) heaving a sigh of relief. With the pricing model (all-you-can-eat plans) and natural limitations of mobile networks (site availability) operators’s business model is at its breaking point in many countries. This may be yet another pointer that they WiFi could proove to be their unexpected saviour.

  6. Interesting to note that the WiFi versions are outselling the 3G versions. The mobile operators must be (behind closed doors) heaving a sigh of relief. With the pricing model (all-you-can-eat plans) and natural limitations of mobile networks (site availability) operators’s business model is at its breaking point in many countries. This may be yet another pointer that they need to embrace wifi spots to better serve the segment that is happy with ‘best effort’ wireless data service.

  7. i would take a guess that high WiFi sales than expected means all the low and moderate folks are getting the WiFi version. i also would guess that this will translate to much higher than expected average data consumption among those who do buy the 3G version. in fact i the end result could be a lot of people buying the 3G largely for a prepaid data connection who do not have any other internet connection. what else do i guess? these people(the ones buying the 3G version) are going to be big into streaming video and use ‘lots’ of data. it will be interesting to watch this.

  8. I’m going with Tim here without the negativity. This smells of PR hype from Apple, building a sense of scarcity, a halo of magic . . .

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