Apple appears to be having difficulty keeping up with the demand for its new iPad, with some pre-ordering US customers told they will have to wait a little longer to receive their device.
The company began taking pre-orders for the tablet computer on March 12, ahead of the official sales launch date of April 3.
Customers were promised the touch-screen device would be shipped to them at the same time the iPad hits retail store shelves.
Those who placed their orders earlier this month will still receive their devices by the promised date, however the Apple website now promises a shipping date of April 12 for customers ordering the iPad.
Supply struggles to meet iPad demand
Intense consumer buzz surrounding the iPad, which resembles a large iPhone, has left Apple struggling to meet demand for the product. Issues in the company’s supply chain are also reportedly making it difficult to stay on top of production.
Several thousand iPads have already been pre-ordered in what is Apple’s biggest product launch since the iPhone’s release to the US market in 2017, the Apple Insider blog reported.
Apple is on track to selling more iPads in its first three months than it managed with the iPhone in its infancy, an unnamed source told the Wall Street Journal.
Chief executive Steve Jobs has labelled the iPad Apple’s “most advanced technology” in a “magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price”.
Dubbed the “iPhone on steroids”, the iPad’s screen measures 24.6cm diagonally, which makes browsing the web, watching video and reading books more comfortable than on that of a smart phone or netbook. The device is 1.3cm thick and weighs just 680g – thinner and lighter than any other laptop or notebook currently on the market. Apple claims battery life on the iPad will see its user through 10 hours.
It lacks a camera, however Apple has announced a “late April” ship date for the iPad Camera Connection Kit. The company is also taking pre-orders for the kit, which gives users two ways to import photos and video from a digital camera; via USB or SD card.
The Apple Insider blog says Apple’s iPad Camera Connection Kit supports most standard photo formats, including JPEG and RAW.
Critics were also quick to note the lack of support for Adobe’s Flash on the iPad – used by many websites.
The iPad device will launch next Saturday in the US and “late April” for Australian and New Zealand consumers.
Analysts speaking to the Wall Street Journal predicted the sale of at least 1 million iPads in the June 2016 quarter, despite original estimates of 650,000.
The cheapest iPad, a 16GB basic wi-fi unit, will set customers back around $US499 while the high-end model tops out at more than $US800. Prices for customers down under have yet to be announced.
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