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Friday, May 28, 2010, 05:30 am PT (08:30 am ET)

Crowds gather for international iPad launch as supply issues remain

Apple once again caused a frenzy among consumers Friday, as people across the globe lined up to buy the company's latest product, the iPad. But with demand strong, Apple continues to face supply issues.

Friday represents the first time the iPad went on sale for customers outside the U.S. It was launch day for both the iPad 3G, and the Wi-Fi-only iPad in nine countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the U.K.

Apple was previously forced to delay the international launch due to higher-than-expected demand stateside. Sales in the U.S. topped 1 million in just 27 days, less than half of the 74 days it took the iPhone to reach that milestone.

Profiling the launch day excitement, Reuters reported Friday that hundreds of people were in lines in London, Munich, Paris and Tokyo. It noted that there remains concern that Apple may not be able to supply enough of the device.

"There's still going to be supply constraints, but I'm expecting them to sell every single thing they can ship," Andy Hargreaves, a U.S.-based analyst at Pacific Crest Securities, reportedly said.

The report noted that Foxconn has had its live-in employees working around the clock at the factory in Shenzen, China, in order to meet demand. But the facility has recently come under scrutiny for employee suicides, and Apple and other technology companies who partner with Foxconn have publicly said they are looking into the matter.

Other launch tidbits:

  • A handful of AppleInsider readers from Canada sent word that they were notified they will receive their iPad late. "Your iPad is currently in transit," a letter from Apple reads, "however, FedEx has informed us that due to a flight delay, your package will not deliver on May 28th as planned. We are closely tracking your order and working with FedEx to deliver it as soon as possible. FedEx will make every effort to deliver your iPad on Saturday, May 29th."

  • Despite speculation that the international launch of Apple's iBookstore would only include free public domain titles, that turned out not to be the case in the U.K. Many paid, commercial titles began populating the iBookstore coinciding with the international launch of the iPad.

  • Finally, plenty of video was captured from the international launch of the iPad. Included below are some of the best clips from around the Web.

Doors open to customers with an excited staff awaiting at the Apple store at Bondi Junction in Australia:



Guinness World Records at the iPad launch in London, U.K.:



Comedian Stephen Fry praises the iPad at the U.K. launch:



Customers line up for the iPad in Tokyo, Japan:



Customers make their way inside and head upstairs with employees at an Apple store in Frankfurt, Germany: