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.

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

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer - 2nd & 3rd Line

    £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The IT Support Engineer is needed to ass...

    Recruitment Genius: Junior / Mid Software Developer

    £22000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Service Desk Manager

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity to join a p...

    Recruitment Genius: Graphic and Motion Designer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Do you get a buzz from thinking up new ideas a...

    Day In a Page

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea