New iPads play hard to get: On back order for 2 to 3 weeks

New iPad demo

Shipping estimates for orders placed Monday morning.

Apple may have already gone through its initial supply of new iPads available to ship by this Friday, but you can still place an order and get one of the new tablets in two to three weeks, according to current Apple website estimates.

Over the weekend, USA Today noted that iPads scheduled to arrive on customer doorsteps March 16, the first day the new tablets are available to the public, were already “sold out.” To be clear, you can still order a new iPad, but you won’t receive one from the first batch of shipments. The delay affects all models of the device.

Apple also told the paper that “customer response to the new iPad has been off the charts.” Apple introduced the new iPad with Retina display, the option of 4G networking, faster graphics processing and better cameras last week.

Apple does like to make an event out of first-day product sales at its stores,┬áso it’s unlikely that the company hasn’t saved some of its supply for Apple Stores. That does make it probable that at least some interested customers will be able to walk into a store starting Friday and get their hands on one of the new iPads.

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