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Apple iPad UK launch delayed again - but first operators named

Tablet now arriving two months later than first planned...
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Written by Natasha Lomas on

Tablet now arriving two months later than first planned...

Waiting to get your hands on an iPad? Get ready to wait a bit longer: Apple has today announced the touchscreen tablet won't now be available outside the US until "late May".

The iPad, a tablet designed for consuming media, surfing the web and running a variety of apps such as games and e-books, was unveiled by Apple CEO Steve Jobs earlier this year.

Apple iPad

Apple's iPad: now coming to the UK in "late May"
(Photo credit: James Martin/CNET)

Apple said it has already shipped more than 500,000 iPads in the US where the wi-fi-only model went on sale earlier this month - a level of demand it described as "surprisingly strong".

It said it has also taken "a large number of pre-orders" for iPad 3G models - due to be delivered in the US by the end of April.

"Demand is far higher than we predicted and will likely continue to exceed our supply over the next several weeks," the company said.

It added: "We have made the difficult decision to postpone the international launch of iPad by one month, until the end of May."

Last month Apple said the iPad would be available in the UK and other international markets in "late April" but that too was a postponement - it originally chalked up "late March" as the date for the international launch of the wi-fi-only model.

Apple said it will take pre-orders outside the US for the iPad from 10 May - and will also announce pricing for the device on that day.

In related iPad news, Orange, O2 and Vodafone have all today announced they will offer price plans for the iPad 3G in the UK. Vodafone will also offer iPad plans in Australia, Germany, Italy and Spain, while Orange will offer iPad plans in Spain and Switzerland too.

The move contrasts with the launch of the Apple iPhone in the UK, where the smartphone was exclusive to O2. A Vodafone spokeswoman told silicon.com: "As I understand it Apple are keen to get the iPad out there as broadly as possible."

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