New iPad shipments delayed as pre-order units sell out

Pre-orders for the new iPad have sold out in just two days as retailers prepare for the worldwide launch of the device this Friday, March 16.

But the launch may bring disappointment for some Australian buyers as delivery dates have now been pushed back even further, with new orders not expected to arrive until the following Thursday, March 22.

An Apple spokesperson has said in a statement the “customer response to the new iPad has been off the charts”, although the company remains characteristically tight-lipped on sales figures.

Units set aside for pre-orders have now completely sold out, according to the Wall Street Journal, so buyers are going to have to head down to Apple stores or resellers, such as Next Byte or Myer in Melbourne, on Friday in order to get their hands on the device.

The rush for pre-orders has quietened the criticism of the device, with some analysts calling the latest iPad a disappointment.

However, some Australian devotees might be disappointed. Apple’s online Australian store now suggests buyers will receive their gadgets by March 22. While Apple will launch the new device on the same day for Australia and the United States, most units will first go to American stores, and shipping issues might delay Australian deliveries.

The statement comes alongside predictions from analysts the new iPad will be a bestseller, with Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster predicting nine million sales in the current quarter.

The reaction to the device has been positive from both app developers and market analysts. Australian developers told SmartCompany they’re all very excited about the new device, with some even updating their apps straight away to make use of the high resolution screen.

However, some have criticised the new iPad for being unable to connect to Telstra’s 4G network – the only operational 4G network in Australia.

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