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Sunday, March 11, 2012, 08:15 am PT (11:15 am ET)

Apple says new iPad response is "off the charts," preorders sold out

Apple has officially acknowledged that iPad stock set aside for preorders is sold out, while noting also that customer response to the device has been "off the charts."

Within two days of the unveiling of the new iPad, new orders of the iPad had already slipped from this Friday's launch day delivery to a ship date of March 19. Apple has since confirmed in a statement that preorders of the touchscreen tablet have run out, as noted by USA Today.

"Customer response to the new iPad has been off the charts and the quantity available for pre-order has been purchased," a company spokesperson said. "Customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date."

Given the response to the device, Apple is expected to set new sales records later this week when the device launches. Pre-existing records for the Cupertino, Calif., iPad maker were already impressive, as it experienced crushing demand for its second-generation tablet last year, with orders quickly slipping to multi-week shipping estimates. A month after the iPad 2 was released, Apple's then chief operating officer Tim Cook said during a quarterly conference call that "staggering" demand for the device had caused the "mother of all backlogs."



Apple has presumably significantly increased its production volume for iPad in anticipation of high demand, but it has also expanded its ambitions with a faster international rollout for the device. Whereas the iPad 2 was released in just the U.S. before launching overseas two weeks later, Apple plans to sell the new iPad in a total of 12 regions from day one. Those markets include: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Switzerland, UK and the US Virgin Islands.

The standout features of the new iPad are its Retina Display and the addition of 4G LTE connectivity. The device also contains a faster A5X processor and an improved camera.