Apple announced the new iPad to the world at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco last Wednesday. The device is scheduled for release on March 16, but due to the unprecedented demand for Apple's new tablet the company has already been forced to push back delivery times for online buyers.
Originally, those pre-ordering online were expected to receive the new tablets on the launch day as the Cupertino-based company had routinely set aside stock for those pre-ordering, but these have all sold due to demand that's "off the charts" according to an Apple spokesperson.
Most of those in the US that ordered online will have to wait until March 19 for delivery, with a two device limit on orders. The lucky few that got their orders in before stocks ran out will receive them on the launch day on Friday according to PC World.
This means that the only other way to get the new tablet on launch day is by queuing at Apple stores, or through one of their authorized retailers. For those of you in Australia, orders will ship on March 22, whereas those that ordered in France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland and the United Kingdom will have a shipping delay of two to three weeks on their hands.
US carriers AT&T and Verizon are currently only taking customer email addresses with promises to notify those interested when the tablet later becomes available. Those in Hong Kong are even worse off, with the official Apple online store saying they're simply unavailable.
Similar problems were experienced when the iPad 2 was released last year, with demand so high it wiped out stocks the day it went on sale, causing extensive delays for shipping which Tim Cook described at the time as the "mother of all backlogs." It took Apple several months before they were able reach a point where production met consumer demand.
Apple has not commented on exact pre-order sales figures, but analysts quoted by the Daily Mail expect Apple to sell an estimated nine million new iPad tablets in this quarter alone.