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Apple Delays iPad International Launch to May

Gordon Kelly


Apple Delays iPad International Launch to May

Read about the new iPad Air and iPad mini 2

Genuine delay or once again brilliant marketing...?

Apple has today announced it will not be able to meet its original target of an iPad international launch by the end of April. In a statement it said:

Although we have delivered more than 500,000 iPads during its first week, demand is far higher than we predicted and will likely continue to exceed our supply over the next several weeks as more people see and touch an iPad. We have also taken a large number of pre-orders for iPad 3G models for delivery by the end of April.

Faced with this surprisingly strong US demand, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the international launch of iPad by one month, until the end of May. We will announce international pricing and begin taking online pre-orders on Monday, May 10. We know that many international customers waiting to buy an iPad will be disappointed by this news, but we hope they will be pleased to learn the reason-the iPad is a runaway success in the US thus far.

While I'm not sure the last sentence could be any more smug, I am cynical about this move. Why? Because while 500,000 units is an enormous amount, it isn't actually any greater than recent generations of iPhone and US reports say store stock is plentiful. Furthermore Apple made a huge deal during its launch keynote out of how the iPad was priced so aggressively in order to take on netbooks and appeal to the mass market. This is a much larger sector than the high end smartphone space occupied by the iPhone.

So, while not meaning to stamp all over Apple's remarkable sales figures for a product I still can't work out the use for, the company either a) grossly messed up its production run, or b) is looking to build further hype after the iPad received mixed reviews.

"Oh Gordon!" I hear you cry "Surely Apple wouldn't sacrifice a week of sales just to build hype?" To which I'd counter: the company needlessly takes its online stores offline for hours at a time throughout the year just to update product ranges, doesn't it...?

Marketing genius.

Still, don't be sad. This means less waiting time for iPad multi-tasking...


Apple iPad


April 14, 2010, 7:10 pm

Still - more time to sort out those Wi-Fi niggles. I guess just sticking it behind the plastic logo and hoping for the best resulted in a few problems. (Okay, that was a bit facetious.) Maybe negotiating out the 3G packages on other carriers has forced a revision of their timetable? No? I'm being naive am I? These things are always laid out behind closed doors well in advance, you say?

And yes Kelly, on this occasion the smugness of the last statement actually does merit your vitriol. The Average Joe doesn't give a toss about Apple's stock price, quarterlies, product adoption rate, etc.. Outside the fanboys ideological battlegrounds, as long as a consumer enjoys the product, they'll ignore everyone else's opinions.


April 14, 2010, 7:16 pm

@Gordon - "Surely Apple wouldn't sacrifice a week of sales just to build hype?" - do you mean a month? ;-)

You mention "mixed reviews". I've read a fair number of reviews for the iPad, and while a fair number of them include a number of negative points (most of which will be negated with OS 4), all reviews seem to be glowing... "Mixed" seems like a very vague word, carefully chosen so as to avoid commenting on the praise the device has received from those that have used it.

That said, I like your theory of the whole delay being to build up hype. It could certainly fit!


April 14, 2010, 7:19 pm

its because 250,000 were sold for export/ebay

Tim Sutton

April 14, 2010, 7:30 pm

Don't panic my Apple sheep friends.

For the full fat iPad experience right now, just disable wi-fi on your iPod Touch and hold it a bit closer to your eye.

Andy C 1

April 14, 2010, 7:33 pm

What is it with you guys; can you not have an Apple story without a snide comment in there somewhere? Can you just get over it (whatever the "it" is) and just provide the news objectively? Thanks.


April 14, 2010, 7:35 pm

Oh you will figure out a use for it soon enough. If you do most of your 'computing' from a bed/sofa (browsing, facebooking, iTuning, youtubing, etc) you will find the iPad a much more convenient and accessible device than any laptop/netbook. I haven't touched my MacBook Air in a week, and that's not exactly inconvenient to use or lug around.

It really does feel right.


April 14, 2010, 7:59 pm

probably because something is wrong with them, eg, wifi and heat.


April 14, 2010, 8:14 pm

I reckon they just haven't ramped up production yet and genuinely cannot meet demand. They should've been ready for it though; they knew this'd sell a few mil.

I think it's wrong to prioritise US customers over international ones, I mean 500,000 is enough; if you haven't gotten one by now you were too slow. Not that I either understand why people are buying them, but then I doubt most people who are buying them don't either...

So marketing genius, no, way to show everyone outside the US how much you care about them, yes. Cheers Apple, off my Xmas card list for another year.


April 14, 2010, 8:33 pm

I got one shoved into my face in the office, not impressed it overheats after 20 mins of being showed off. With what little time I did get I was impressed with the pinch and zoom and its speedy but unless it sits on your lap, anyone with less than two hands forget it. Seemed totally pointless to me one hand to hold and one hand to operate, why it made me appreciate my laptop more. Revolution says Jason Bradbury, I say what a plonker.


April 14, 2010, 8:59 pm

@Tim Sutton - so funny I tweeted it ;) (http://twitter.com/GordonKelly...

@Cub - 'mixed' is exactly what it means: every review I've read to date - positive or negative - has had specific reservations. That's mixed. 'Panned' or 'Universally acclaimed' would be the opposite ends of the scale.

@Andy - nope, TR is a site all about opinions.

Pendejo Sin Nombre

April 14, 2010, 9:19 pm

You're comparing a first gen. product in a nascent market segment against an established but growing market and you really believe they could have gauged initial sales as accurately as for a second and third gen. product!?

Andy C 1

April 14, 2010, 9:36 pm

@Gordon - Nope. The reviews are about opinions which is to expected. The news should not be, in my humble opinion.


April 14, 2010, 9:45 pm

@Gordon @Tim: Retweeted ;).

@Andt: Aw don't be a spoilsport, Gordon's sarcastic/cynical take on the news brightens my afternoons. TR are also far from anti-Apple at all, as I believe over half of them have iPhones.


April 14, 2010, 10:34 pm

@Tim Sutton

Love it! Was in the silent study room at the library when I read that and had everyone staring at me when I LOLd!


April 14, 2010, 10:36 pm

Andy - "What is it with you guys; can you not have an Apple story without a snide comment in there somewhere? Can you just get over it (whatever the "it" is) and just provide the news objectively? Thanks."

Gordon "@Andy - nope, TR is a site all about opinions"

I say - thank goodness for that! If all TR did was objectively 'report' the news we all might as well just go and read the instruction manuals of out gadgets for info...or The Times's technology section! The more opinion, jibes, swipes, whines, praise and general tom-foolery, the better. :)


April 14, 2010, 10:46 pm

Andy: You seem to have mistaken "Apple" with "the iPad". TR are perfectly capable of writing positively about Apple products without any "snide comments", and often do. But it's a different matter when the product in question is of questionable usefulness, arguably overpriced, massively overhyped, and has several restrictions that benefit only the company. Seems fair to me.

Want objectivity? Try the mainstream press which hail the iPad as the future of computing, without any hint or suggestion that it might be flawed in any way - and which give disproportionate coverage to the thing, when the same publications normally have as much interest in computer technology as I have in knitting (not much). Yes - all very objective...


April 14, 2010, 10:58 pm

I *heart* you all

Tony Walker

April 15, 2010, 12:33 am

Apple treating us like second class citizens on this one. They could do it with the ist gen iPhone as Britain and Europe was 3G savvy already and that phone didn't cut it.

Wonder how much they'll rip us off on the prices now. Looking at the ridiculous prices they've slapped on the new Macbooks, it's going to be expensive.

Finally, Apple have failed big-time on customer service. I signed up for e-mail updates on the iPad mini-site. To date I've had no e-mail from them. Bad Apple.


April 15, 2010, 2:15 am

One of the best iPad commentaries I've seen yet.



April 15, 2010, 2:39 am

I had firmly committed the iPad to the bucket marked 'Idiot Toys' until I saw this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

I was gritting my teeth to buy a Lenovo X201T at £1400 to get an electronic sketchpad (yes, I know the Lenovo does more but that was the motivating factor for me). Anyway, for a product designer Sketchbook Pro on the iPad (it only costs $8 for goodness sake!) has suddenly become the killer application.

I think I might let a few other thrill seekers beta test it until the WiFi issues are resolved but I will definately be buying an iPad before the year is out.


April 15, 2010, 3:06 am


You could always seek the opinion of Stephen Fry, a genius LOL.

Andy C 1

April 15, 2010, 3:24 am

@MrGodfrey I'm sorry, but I know what I wrote. Any apple related NEWS - not reviews (in which opinion is fine) more often than not contains sarcastic, snidey, or back-handed compliments about and around Apple. Yes, the iPad is the most recent, but it's been onoing for a long time - ever since there were complaints about pro-Apple bias back in the day.

I, personally, find it tiresome.

Clearly not everyone does, such as @lifethroughalens, but I personally do. You see, I like the facts when being told about news items, as that gives me scope to make my own mind up, and facile views dressed up as news I can do without, thanks all the same.

If this is editorial style of the whole site, as has been postulated, then fine - but let's see the caustic pen applied with equal vitreol to all.

@Pendejo Sin Nombre - Well said.

@Dagher - exactly what it's built to do. Okay, @Gordon might not want to use it like that, in which case he should not buy one. But this does not mean it has no function, as was the intended implication.


April 15, 2010, 3:29 am

I was going to weight in here with a comment re Andy and the "wah wah why the snide comments wah" whining, but I see that's been done rather nicely ahead of me.

Loving the "hold it closer to your eye" comment. Anybody who can't take that as good-natured ribbing needs a slap ;)


April 15, 2010, 5:10 am

@Andy - You're clearly not looking very widely. We do this to everyone on a case-by-case basis for who we think deserves it in different product sectors. For example:

Nokia last week


See the final paragraph on Samsung


And it will keep happening for any product(s) we think aren't up to scratch/worthy of their billing.

Andy C 1

April 15, 2010, 3:10 pm

@Gordon. Last comment I promise :). It's not specifically Apple, it's any company - but it's true that for most debates, it crystalises around Apple for some reason. Again, my request was for more objectivity and certainly less snide/caustic remarks which I can get from Charlie Brooker's section in the Guardian Online.

Clearly the news section being less opinion-piece / soapbox and more factually based is not something you or the other contributors want - which is a shame.

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