Apple has delayed the launch of the iPad 2 in Japan and Czech Republic due to supply problems. The shortage of devices caused by the huge uptake in the US combined with the recent catastrophe in Japan has meant Apple had to rethink its global strategy for rolling out the device.
Engadget has blamed the delays on increased sales that exceeded forecasts that were probably based on last years iPad sales; current sales have whitewashed last years with Apple reaching the magic million units sold in the first 48 hours on sale in the US – it took a month for them to achieve the same result in 2010.
Both Japan and the Czech Republic are expected to receive an April 25th release date, one month later than previously planned. To be honest this is the least of Japans worries at the moment but it has got consumers asking questions as they wonder if release dates will be moved in their country.
Apple stores in the US are struggling to keep up with demand with queues of people being turned away each day, the online store is also ‘virtually’ turning people away with notices on the payment page warning people of delays of up to five weeks.
What does this mean for the UK and other countries?
Although stocks will be limited it is highly unlikely that Apple will delay the UK release date, those lucky who purchase one on the 25th March will be the lucky ones with the remainder having to wait a little longer (well 5 weeks longer if the US is anything to go by).
Other countries will also maintain the same release date, it would be extremely unusual for Apple to pull the plug at this late stage – unusual doesn’t mean it won’t happen though as they have already postponed the launch in two countries.
Will the crisis in Japan increase delivery times?
Once the initial stocks have been depleted it is probable that Apple will struggle to keep up with demand. Components such as batteries, ram, semi-conductors and the glass overlay all come from Japan – if production is halted or slowed down it will have a knock of affect to the iPad 2 production line. This is the probable reason for the 4-5 week delays that US consumers are currently experiencing.
Whether consumers wait for the iPad 2 remains to be seen, some analysts predict they will jump ship and buy a Motorola Xoom instead.
What do you think? Will you wait to get an iPad 2 if your country faces delays or stock shortages?