Citing stronger than expected demand in the US - where 500,000 iPads were sold during launch week - Apple has delayed international release of the tablet by a month.
"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," Apple said in a statement.
"We will announce international pricing and begin taking online pre-orders on Monday, May 10."
The delay is the second by Apple, which initially made noises about late March - then late April - international release of the wi-fi version of the iPad, with the 3G version to follow.
The delay is bad news for the slate of countries due to get the iPad on its first round of global release: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.
And worse for New Zealand, which still does not even have a pencilled in release date (one publishing insider told NBR - before today’s fresh delay, that the word was late August, with constrained supply). There’s also no word on the crucial iBookstore content download component.
Meanwhile, parallel importers seem happy to fill the gap - and ironically, given that they have to source their iPads for local markets from North American, helping to exacerbate the US shortage.
During launch week, four iPads appeared on TradeMe.
Right now, 27 - all new - are up for auction.
A 16GB wi-fi iPad ($US499 or $NZ661 in the States; see Apple’s full pricing here) has a buy-now of $1850.
Greedy pricing, you might think, but limited supply and the iPad hype frenzy have combined to attract multiple bidders.
If you search around, you’ll see several parallel importers are not just flicking off iPads on TradeMe, but selling them via their own websites too, including ToshNewZealand.com.
The imported iPads come with US AC adapters, but the tablet can also be charged via your computer's USB port.
A number of sites, like this one, based in Maylasia are offering to ship iPads worldwide. Good luck with that.
And a number of developers and enthusiasts - such as entrepreneur and blogger Lance Wiggs, who brought back six after a jaunt to the US that coincided with the launch week - are also helping to seed the market with iPads bought in North America.
But what to do if you’re stuck with a New Zealand account for Apple’s download service, with many commercial iPad apps only available to those with a US account - which, in turn, requires a US credit card to set-up?
Mr Wiggs has a workaround here (which is also useful if you want to buy TV shows or movies being sold in the US, but not yet on iTunes NZ).
Just don’t come crying to NBR if you get arrested.
Thu, 15 Apr 2010