For those of us who aren’t in the U.S. (or who aren’t willing to pay the markups on Craigslist and other sources to get early access), that “late April” international release date for the iPad was getting tantalizingly close. That’s why Apple’s (s aapl) announcement of a delay for international release today comes as such a disappointment.
That’s right, the “late April” date is off the table, and now buyers outside of the U.S. will have to wait until at least late May before they can get their hands on the much sought-after device. At least we have one firm date to look forward to, though, as Apple did announce that May 10 would be the day it would begin taking pre-orders for international sales. The delivery date is still ambiguous, mind you.
Pricing will also be announced on the May 10 pre-order date, but not before, so you won’t know exactly how many ducats you have to put aside in advance. Personally, I’m going to be quite irate if the pricing is that much different here in Canada, where our dollar is pretty much at parity. Of course, if they do charge something ridiculous, it’s nothing a quick trip to Buffalo can’t fix.
The reason Apple gives behind the delay doesn’t come as a surprise. Basically, the company is saying that with over 500,000 units sold in the first week alone, demand is simply far outpacing supply. The press release doesn’t talk about specific numbers for 3G pre-orders, but it does imply that those, too, are beyond what the company expected to have to ship at the end of this month in the U.S. market alone.
Apple is quite optimistic about the attitudes its potential international customers will take regarding the news:
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.
Yes, that’s right, they just want us to be happy for them. Well, I for one am just ecstatic that I get to twiddle my thumbs and download iPad apps for a device I have yet to own for another whole month. Thanks very much for your conservative launch sales estimate, Apple.
Kidding aside, strong sales do bode well for all iPad customers, even if some have to wait a little longer to get their hands on one. It means the platform is not in any danger of losing support from the development community or Apple itself anytime soon, as might have been the case if the launch was a total flop.