Apple has exhausted the supply of iPads slated to arrive at customers' doorsteps this coming Saturday, according to the company's online store.
Starting early yesterday, Apple's store noted that pre-ordered iPads might not ship until April 12, more than a week after the tablet goes on sale. People who placed orders before the cut-off of March 27 will still receive their iPads next Saturday, April 3, an Apple sales representative said today.
Apple began taking pre-orders for the iPad on March 12, when it also allowed customers to reserve the tablet for pickup at Apple retail stores. At the time, it promised to ship pre-ordered iPads so that they would arrive April 3.
Retails stores contacted by Computerworld said that they had also exhausted their supplies of iPads available for pick-up next Saturday. However, a salesperson at a Portland, Ore. store said that reserved iPads that are unclaimed by 3 p.m. local time would be put up for sale to walk-in customers.
iPad sales have been the target of substantial speculation since Apple started taking pre-orders three weeks ago. Investment blogger Daniel Tello has been using iPad order numbers submitted by volunteers at Investor Village's AAPL Sanity message board to estimate pre-sales. Last Friday, Tello updated his estimate to 240,000 units, a number that did not account for in-store reservations or bulk orders by businesses, schools and other organizations.
Only the WiFi-only models will go on sale April 3. The more expensive tablets that support both WiFi and 3G connectivity can be pre-ordered, but are not scheduled to ship until later this month, according to Apple's online store.
The WiFi iPad starts at $499 with 16GB of flash storage, with prices up to $699 for a 64GB device. Models with both WiFi and 3G range from $629 to $829.
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