iPad, therefore I have to wait for my new computer to arrive

Why are British consumers having to wait for their Apple delivery, asks Rhodri Marsden

I remember exactly what I was doing when I heard the news, although that's not such an amazing feat of memory as I was just staring at a computer screen for something like the 6,000th day in succession.

But nothing, not even counselling and an energy-boosting cereal bar, could have prepared me for the shock. Up until that point, the future had looked rosy. Apple's new iPad would descend like some tablet-shaped angel of hope at the end of April, creative industries would experience a miraculous upswing in their fortunes and our computing lives would be radically improved for evermore. After all, our phones are way too small for browsing the web. Our desktop machines can't be slipped into a holdall and carried across town without physical trauma and our laptops have a lid, for crying out loud. A lid! Preposterous.

But a solemn statement from Apple was to shatter this fragile sense of calm. "We have made the difficult decision to postpone the international launch of iPad by one month, until the end of May," it read. "We know that many international customers waiting to buy an iPad will be disappointed by this news," it continued, massively understating the face-clawing anguish that would now surely be spreading across the globe.

The reason given is the seemingly insatiable demand for iPads across the USA, with 500,000 units shifted in just a fortnight. Corroborative stories emerge from California, with frustrated geeks searching Silicon Valley in vain, credit cards burning holes in their pockets. One imagines fistfights in stores, remeniscent of battles between irate fathers in the 1980s over a last remaining Cabbage Patch doll.

We should, Apple insist in a tone reminiscent of a Communist edict, be resigned to our own misfortune and be delighted at its success. (They, of course, decide what constitutes a success.). Apple does have previous form regarding international delays. The US launch of the iTunes store in April 2003 was heralded as the future of online music but we had to wait until the following June. And the iPhone was kept maddeningly out of reach for five months until it finally appeared in Britain during November 2007.

But this time our envy is intensified by sneaky iPad imports. Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, delayed at the airport by clouds of volcanic ash after a nuclear summit, was pictured yesterday playing with his. And a peek on eBay reveals a number of entrepreneurs offering boxed iPads at $200 markups, exploiting our ravenous hunger for a scaled-up iPhone.

But while most of us can shrug off our mild annoyance and get back to work, outlandish theories have inevitably started to surface about the 'real' reason for the delay. They are, in descending order of likelihood:

20,000-1: Apple are re-evaluting their whole business model. There have been vociferous ideological objections to the iPad from software developers, who resent Apple's tight control over their online store, the only way to transfer apps to the device.

15,000-1: They're busy adding USB ports. Those who are astounded that you can't attach, say, a printer to the iPad are probably the same ones who derided the iMac for having no floppy drive.

10,000-1: They're sourcing thousands of pieces of chamois. Despite the iPad's "oleophobic" they are accumulating grubby finger marks. Mac-books and iPhones come with a piece of cloth. So why not the iPad?

5,000-1: In depth talks with the Israeli government. At least 10 travellers from the USA to Israel have been relieved of their iPads because the gadget's Wi-Fi has not yet been approved for use on Israeli territory.

2,000-1: They're writing a clock app. Unusual omissions from the iPad include a calculator and an alarm clock.

1,000-1: They're designing a diagram showing how to safely operate the thing. The iPad isn't that light rotates annoyingly on flat surfaces and tends to slide off your lap. So could we avoid curvature of the spine by being shown the correct iPad stance?

500-1: They're waiting until winter, when the weather's cooler. One New York iPad owner took his outside on a balmy spring day, only for it to display the message "iPad needs to cool down before you can use it". A spell in the fridge did the trick – but how would it fare on the beaches of the Med?

100-1: They're tweaking important apps. Apple's Powerpoint equivalent, Keynote, and its word processing app, Pages, have been demonstrated to lose odd bits of data when transferred from desktop computers. Annoying. But hopefully solvable.

50-1: They're improving the Wi-Fi. The biggest gripe from customers has been fluctuating internet connections. Apple have offered a lot of advice – including, notably, "move nearer to your router" – but users are crossing their fingers for a software update to address the issue.

2-1 on: There are simply not enough iPads. In spite of all the above, the fact remains that millions of people just really want to get their hands on one. Fortunately, orders are going to be taken from 10 May.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want for the fitness tech, or the style
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

    £18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Day In a Page

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own