Apple Says New Orders of the IPad 3G Won’t Arrive Until May 7
April 20 (Bloomberg) — Apple Inc.’s U.S. customers who order the 3G models of its iPad now won’t receive the tablet computer until May 7, a few days later than expected, as the company clambers to meet demand.
U.S. buyers who ordered one of three 3G versions before yesterday will still get their iPad by the end of April, as originally promised, Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said. The 3G model connects to the Internet using mobile-phone carriers’ third-generation service, in addition to Wi-Fi networks.
Apple said last week that demand for the iPad was “far higher” than predicted, leading the company to delay international sales of the device by one month, until the end of May. Cupertino, California-based Apple sold more than 500,000 iPads in the first week after its U.S. debut on April 3.
“There’s a learning curve at play here,” said Shaw Wu, an analyst with Kaufman Bros. in San Francisco. “This is the reality of manufacturing.”
The iPad’s initial release only included models that run on Wi-Fi networks, starting at $499. The newer versions will cost at least $629. Both types let users surf the Web, watch videos, listen to music and play games on a touch screen.
Apple fell 33 cents to $247.07 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading yesterday. The shares have doubled in the past year.
The company, which said on April 14 that demand will outpace supply for the next several weeks, may be struggling to get enough touch screens produced, according to ISuppli Corp.
Suppliers, challenged by the size of the display, may be unable to make usable screens in the quantities Apple needs, said Andrew Rassweiler, an ISuppli analyst in El Segundo, California. The 9.7-inch (25-centimeter) screen is made by LG Display Co., Samsung Electronics Co. and Seiko Epson Corp., according to ISuppli.
The iPad’s LED-backlit display is about 6 inches larger than the screen used in Apple’s iPhone. For the iPad, Apple opted for a screen technology called IPS, or in-plane switching, that the company says provides “crisp, clear images and consistent color with an ultra-wide” viewing angle.
“We understand that the yields on the display have been low and that they’re creating a production bottleneck,” Rassweiler said. “That they have been doing it for the iPhone for some time is great, but once you go to 9.7 inches, it is a much more complicated process.”
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