Demand for the Apple iPad still remains high three days after the gadget’s launch, with some of the company’s retail stores rapidly selling out of stock and further delays expected for new buyers.
Meanwhile, new data from CommSec also reveals Australia is the third cheapest country to buy the gadget, beaten only by the United States and Canada.
After weeks of delays, Australian users were finally treated to their first hands-on experience with the gadget last Friday. Both Apple retail locations and dozens of resellers offered the device on launch.
But transport company TNT is reportedly struggling to deliver thousands of units across the country with shipments expected to be made anytime this week until June 7 – a week after the release date. Additionally, new orders being made from today are expected to incur a two-week wait.
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A TNT spokesperson was contacted for comment, but no reply was received before publication.
While users are still able to buy iPads from some official stores and resellers, such as Myer, JB Hi-Fi, Dick Smith and Apple reseller Next Byte, stock is selling out fast. The company’s George Street store in Sydney reportedly has no 3G-enabled models available to sell.
Several news reports indicate Apple sold 30,000 units on the first day of the release last Friday, but the company itself said no details are currently available for sales figures.
But if the numbers are correct, it would mean Apple has actually managed to sell more iPads per capita in Australia than in the United States, penetrating 0.13% of the population here as opposed to 0.09% overseas where it sold 300,000 units on the first day of sales.
The struggle to keep up with demand isn’t a surprise, with users waiting weeks after the US release to get their hands on the device.
But while users were expecting a significant mark-up from the US price, CommSec economist Craig James says Australians should be fairly happy with local prices. The firm’s “iPod index”, designed after the Economist’s Big Mac index, indicates local price points are relatively competitive.
“Interestingly, when expressed in US dollars, the price of the new iPad is similar in Australia, Canada and Japan and not far away from the pricing in the US. But in the UK, Germany, France and Italy an iPad costs 20-25% more than in the US.”
“The question is whether Apple has priced its product too high for the European market or whether the UK pound and Euro need to depreciate further to bring global pricing into line”
The entry-level version of the iPad costs $629, with six different models ranging up to $1,049. James says while users could still save some money by buying their gadgets while overseas, local costs are hard to beat.
“On current exchange rates iPads cost $40-60 more in Australia than the US, but if the exchange rate fell to around US80c then prices would be line ball. But iPhones are a different question – prices in Australia appear high compared with other countries.”