Apple says strong US demand for iPad will delay international iPad launch

Fancy an iPad do you? Live not in the US, eh? Well, we have some disheartening news for you. Apple today announced that unexpectedly strong US demand for the Apple tablet will force the iPad maker to delay the international launch of the device by a month. That puts the Canadian, European, etc. release of the iPad all the way out at the end of May. If you were hoping to see the iPad in Canada by April 24th, you might as well scratch that date and mark the last bit of May as your new “iPad Day.”

The numbers say it all: Apple moved out half a million – that’s 500,000, for you numbers types out there – iPad units in just the first week of sales. That’s initial demand wasn’t exactly shocking, given that it’s an Apple product, but it sure as hell is impressive. What’s more, Apple expects to see demand remain strong through the next few weeks – you know, as early adopters hit the streets with iPads in hand and evangelizing all that is Steve Jobs and Apple.

Apple also wants to ensure that they have adequate stock of iPad 3G models – variants with integrated 3G data connections for anywhere, anytime internet connectivity. The 3G-equipped model will ship at the end of April, so it stands to reason that Apple wants to gauge interest in the AT&T-connected iPad before making the jump to international markets.

It makes sense that Apple would want to maximize iPad sales in the US. This is home, and Apple doesn’t want to forsake its home-field advantage because there are tens of thousands of international types hankering for a taste of the iPhone OS-powered tablet. What doesn’t really make sense is that Apple was taken by surprise with iPad demand. What is possible, though, is that this delayed international iPad launch is yet another clever marketing tactic borne of Steve Jobs’ marketing master-mind.

Either way, Apple will announce international iPad pricing on May 10, while simultaneously allowing over-the-border iPad hopefuls to log their pre-orders through Apple’s website. If you can’t wait, may we suggest picking up an iPad on eBay?

Back to top ▴