On its third turn doing a global iPad roll out, Apple(s AAPL) seems to have its supply chain humming along nicely this year. The new iPad, which is already for sale in 35 countries as of today, will be showing up on shelves in 12 new countries this Friday, Apple announced Monday. And by the following Friday, it’ll arrive in nine more countries, for a total of 56 in about six weeks.
The fast roll out stands in contrast to 2011, when the iPad had hit just 39 countries in about five weeks. Besides the fact that Foxconn, Apple’s chief contract manufacturer was struggling to hire enough people to get iPads put together and out the door, there were also supply chain constraints for much of the global electronics industry last spring as a result of the Japan earthquake.
Though Apple’s website shows new orders still take about one to two weeks to deliver, the rollout goes on. Those new countries, by the way, are: Brunei, Croatia, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Malaysia, Panama, St Maarten, South Korea, Uruguay, Venezuela, Colombia, Estonia, India, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, South Africa and Thailand.
One of Apple’s most important markets still has yet to see the new iPad in stores: China. Several weeks ago, official certification documents surfaced indicating that the Wi-Fi-only version of Apple’s latest tablet was closer to being cleared for sale in the country.