Want to buy a new iPad online? There's a wait for that
Days after the new iPad went up for presale online, Apple is running out of the devices to deliver to Web customers on the brick-and-mortar launch day of March 16.
Josh LowensohnFormer Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Apple today sold out of its initial batch of new iPads in online presales.
Buyers in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia now face varying delivery delays if they wish to pre-order the device from Apple's online store. In the U.S. it's currently an extra three days' wait past the brick-and-mortar launch date of March 16 to get your Web-ordered iPad. Across most of Europe and Japan it's now a two to three week delivery delay for new orders.
"Customer response to the new iPad has been off the charts and the quantity available for pre-order has been purchased," an Apple representative told CNET. "Customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date. Beginning Friday, March 16, the new iPad will be available for purchase at Apple's retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers on a first come, first-served basis."
Apple's latest iPad went up for pre-ordering this past Wednesday, a few hours after being unveiled at Apple's event in downtown San Francisco. U.S. carriers, including AT&T and Verizon, are not currently letting people prepurchase the device online, and have provided no indications of letting buyers pre-order the device.
By comparison, last year's initial stock of the iPad 2 dried up within hours of going up for presale. Orders for the iPad 2 kicked off at 1 a.m. PT and quickly went from being delivered on launch day to three to five days later, then to two to three weeks later. Availability of the tablet was later further constrained to up to three to four weeks for new buyers.
Despite the appearance of any supply constraints, Apple is set to launch the device in an additional 26 countries by March 23, which the company says will be its fastest product rollout ever.
Apple has a long history of setting aside launch day stock for its retail partners and for its own retail stores. At the iPhone 4S launch, for instance, the company's San Francisco flagship store got through a line of several hundred first-day buyers with extra stock to spare, despite online orders having sold outless than a day after going on sale.
Updated at 12:36 p.m. PT on 3/10 with comment from Apple.