Apple delays iPad's international launch

Apple said it would delay for one month the international roll-out of its iPad tablet computer, due to heavy demand and swift sales after its launch in the United States.

Although international markets are increasingly important to Apple's growth, investors appeared unfazed by the delay announced on Wednesday, and the company's shares rose more than 1 percent to touch yet another all-time high.



Analysts said Apple is having difficulty ramping up iPad production, but that any frustration from overseas customers would likely give way to pent-up demand for the popular touchscreen device once it hits store shelves.



In the United States, the device has proven to be more popular than some expected, selling 500,000 units in the week after its April 3 launch.



"It is a little surprising: 500,000 -- weren't they expecting that?" said Hudson Square Research analyst Daniel Ernst. "On the flip side, it's a high-quality problem. There isn't another product on the market like it."



The company expects sales will "likely continue to exceed our supply over the next several weeks."



Broadpoint AmTech analyst Brian Marshall said there was no danger that the international delay would cause the iPad to fall short of sales estimates for the June quarter. Analysts expect 1 million devices or more for the period.



"I think this is a positive, ironically, because it shows strong demand," he said.



Marshall said he did not believe it was a component shortage that was causing the delay, but rather the complexity of manufacturing a brand new device. The iPad is being built by contract manufacturer Foxconn.



"Clearly there's a learning curve while they ramp up production, but that's temporary."



Apple launched in the United States with the Wi-Fi-only version of the iPad. The company said it has also taken a large number of pre-orders for the 3G model, which are scheduled for delivery by the end of April.



"Apple is sensible to push back its international launch and focus on the strong demand in its home market and on meeting existing pre-orders for the 3G version of the iPad," said Ovum analyst Tim Renowden.

Apple plans to announce international pricing and begin taking online orders on 10 May, and iPads will hit store shelves at the end of May.

Separately, Vodafone Group said Wednesday it will offer iPad price plans from the end of May in Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the Britain. Orange said it would offer plans in France, Britain, Spain and Switzerland.



Although Apple was once thought of as more dependent on the US market, its international presence has grown dramatically, thanks to the popularity of iPhones and iPods.



International sales accounted for 58 percent of Apple's revenue in the December quarter, up from 46 per cent a year earlier.



The delays risk irking customers and creating headaches for retailers banking on the popular tablet computer to draw in store traffic.



But Apple may reap higher margins from additional sales made at US Apple stores and through its Website, according to Cross Research analyst Shannon Cross.



"It validates that there is strong end-market for the device and that the demand was not coming just from early adopters or 'Mac heads'," she said. "It has actually got widespread interest."



The iPad's early US sales impressed analysts, many of whom expect roughly 5 million in 2010, though estimates vary widely.



Analyst Cross on Wednesday raised her iPad sales estimate in the quarter to 2.25 million iPads from 1.5 million. Apple has much riding on the success of the 9.7-inch touchscreen tablet, essentially a cross between a smartphone and a laptop. The tablet computer market is expected to grow to as many as 50 million units by 2014, according to analysts.

ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

    £20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

    SThree: Recruitment Resourcer

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Do you want to get in...

    SThree: Recruitment Consultant - IT

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Sthree are looking fo...

    Guru Careers: Business Analyst / Digital Business Analyst

    £50 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Business Analyst / Digital Bus...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before