Update: Apple delays Australian iPad launch

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Update: Apple delays Australian iPad launch

Australian carriers Telstra, Optus and VHA have said they will all carry the 3G version of the Apple iPad, with Telstra announcing it "will offer dedicated iPad price plans from the end of May."

Apple yesterday announced that it has pushed back the Australian launch of the iPad by a month to cope with "surprisingly strong demand" for the device in the United States.

In a statement released Thursday, Apple said demand was stronger than predicted, leading to sales of half a million devices in the first week alone.

"Demand will likely continue to exceed our supply over the next several weeks as more people see and touch an iPad," an Apple spokesman said.

"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 know that many international customers waiting to buy an iPad will be disappointed by this news, but we hope they will be pleased to learn the reason—the iPad is a runaway success in the US thus far."

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International prices would be revealed on May 10, coinciding with the Apple website accepting online orders from customers.

Ovum analyst Tim Renowden believed the delay was sensible.

"iPad is based on a number of high-end components, including its Apple-designed A4 processor and 9.7-inch LCD screen, which will take Apple's manufacturing partners time to produce in significant volume," he said.

"If Apple's tightly-managed supply chain is genuinely stretched by unexpected demand, Apple is sensible to push back its international launch and focus on the strong demand in its home market and on meeting existing pre-orders for the 3G version of the iPad."

The device sold more than 300,000 on its first day alone in US stores. But reviews have criticised, among other things, the lack of USB and video calling, and the flaky Wi-Fi.

Apple has acknowledged the Wi-Fi issue.

The iPad was initially scheduled for international launch in "late April". A 3G version of the device was also expected to ship in the same timeframe.

"We have taken a large number of pre-orders for iPad 3G models for delivery by the end of April," an Apple spokesman said today.

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