Customers pre-ordering latest iPad will have to wait

Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:54pm EST
 
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By James B. Kelleher

(Reuters) - People pre-ordering Apple Inc's (AAPL.O: Quote) new iPad to avoid the release-day crowds at the company's retail stores will have to wait longer to get their hands on the devices.

The latest version of the company's tablet, which was unveiled this week, is set to hit shelves next Friday.

But tablets pre-ordered online will not ship to buyers until the following Monday, March 19, according to the company's website.

Earlier in the week, Apple had promised the newest tablet would arrive at customers' homes on the launch date.

Trudy Miller, an Apple spokeswoman, said the change was made because customer response to the new iPad had been "off the charts," quickly exhausting the supply set aside for pre-order and delivery by March 16.

Apple's new product releases are some of the hottest events on the tech calendar, scrutinized by investors, the media and industry insiders alike.

To the company's devoted fans, who vie to be the first to own the latest device, a three-day delay would be an eternity and could add to the crowds at the company's retail stores.

In January, enraged Chinese shoppers pelted Apple's flagship Beijing store with eggs and shoving matches broke out with police after customers were told the store would not begin sales of the iPhone 4S as scheduled.   Continued...

 
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an Apple event as he introduces the new iPad as an image the device is projected on screen in San Francisco, California March 7, 2012. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith