Apple has delayed the launch of its hotly anticipated Apple iPad device outside of its home country of the US due to higher than predicted demand.
The device had previously been slated to launch in Australia in late April. An Apple Australia spokesperson had not yet responded to a request for comment on the issue last night, but a statement from Apple in the US appeared to pour cold water on Australians hoping to buy an iPad before May.
"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," Apple's statement said. "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, 10 May."
Apple has also updated its Australian internet store with the 10 May date.
In its statement, Apple said it knew that international customers would be disappointed, but hoped they would be pleased to learn that the iPad was a success in the US.
Information about how the iPad will launch in Australia remains extremely scarce so far, with none of Australia's mobile carriers having released any information on how they plan to tackle the device, which sits in between the netbook and mobile phone category — with some of the iPad models including 3G mobile broadband capability.
However, some Australians have already managed to pick up one of Apple's latest devices — through making trips to the US and picking up the device there, or arranging for their friends to do so. A number of iPads have also gone on sale online at auction site eBay.