US Apple iPad launch slightly delayed to April 3

Mar 05, 2010
The Apple iPad.

(AP) -- The much-anticipated iPad tablet computer from Apple Inc. will start hitting U.S. store shelves on April 3, slightly later than originally planned.

When Apple unveiled the touch-screen device Jan. 27, the company said the first iPads would reach the market in "late March" worldwide, not just in the U.S. Now international releases are planned for later in April.

Investors shrugged off the delay and instead seemed reassured that the tablet wouldn't slip even later. On a day with a broader stock market rally, Apple shares jumped $7.44, or 3.5 percent, to $218.15 in midday trading, a record high.

The company did not specify Friday why the tablet is not coming out until April, and Apple spokeswoman Natalie Harrison would not elaborate.

However, Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek had said this week that Apple might have to delay or limit the size of the launch because of an "unspecified production problem." Misek said Apple's Taiwan-based supplier, Hon Hai Precision, could be facing a production bottleneck or a shortage of components.

Misek said Friday he couldn't elaborate on the production problem. He said Apple was taking "a very intelligent approach" by allocating more units to the U.S., Apple's biggest market, while delaying overseas availability for the iPad.

The analyst doesn't expect the delay to affect sales of the iPad during Apple's fiscal third quarter, which ends in June. He estimates Apple will sell 550,000 iPads during the period and 1.2 million in fiscal 2010. For fiscal 2011, he expects Apple to sell 3.5 million iPads.

In comparison, Apple sold 8.7 million iPhones in its last quarter alone. The iPad isn't expected to be even close for a while because Apple will have to persuade mainstream consumers to embrace a new category - a device smaller than a laptop but larger than a phone.

Michael Gartenberg, analyst and partner at Altimeter Group, expects the tablet to "resonate well" partly because people already familiar with the iPhone will know what to expect from the iPad.

"Apple has invested not just 10 years of research and development but 10 years of consumer education too," he said. "They've taught consumers about digital music, multi-touch (screens) and video. It would surprise me if it didn't sell 3 to 4 million units (this year)."

The first iPads to go on sale will connect to Wi-Fi networks only and cost $499, $599 or $699, depending on the data storage capacity. Versions that also can connect to "3G" cellular networks are expected to go on sale in late April for $629, $729 or $829. Apple has not yet disclosed international pricing.

U.S. customers will be able to begin placing orders for both models from Apple's Web site beginning on March 12.

All models will be available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the U.K. by late April, Apple said. Other countries are expected to get the device later in the year.

Apple says the iPad will include 12 new applications designed especially for the computer. It will also run "almost all" of the more than 140,000 apps already available for the iPhone and iPod Touch, Apple said. Users will be able to access the applications they bought for those devices through the iPad.

Explore further: Indiegogo project 'Switchmate' lets you run light switch from your phone without rewiring

3.3 /5 (3 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Apple removing risque iPhone apps: reports

Feb 21, 2010

Apple has begun removing risque iPhone and iPod Touch applications from its online App Store, including some which had previously been approved for sale, according to reports on Saturday.

Apple's Jobs unveils 'intimate' $499 iPad tablet

Jan 27, 2010

(AP) -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the company's much-anticipated iPad tablet computer Wednesday, calling it a new third category of mobile device that is neither smart phone nor laptop, but something ...

Recommended for you

Panoramas for your tablet

Mar 25, 2015

Most people are familiar with the fictional world of 'Star Trek,' in which the characters can use a holodeck to create and interact with virtual worlds. It is possible to recreate a similar effect in the ...

Bound to please: Book-making machines star at French fair

Mar 23, 2015

Chose a PDF file on the screen and five minutes later a book, printed and bound with a proper cover, spits out. It used to be science fiction, but machines that do this are here now and increasingly grabbing the attention ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.