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Apple announced Wednesday that initial demand for the new device has been far higher than anticipated, causing the company to make "the difficult decision to postpone the international launch of iPad by one month, until the end of May."
"Although we have delivered more than 500,000 iPads during its first week, demand is far higher than we predicted and will likely continue to exceed our supply over the next several weeks as more people see and touch an iPad," Apple said. "We have also taken a large number of pre-orders for iPad 3G models for delivery by the end of April."
The announcement triggered widespread disappointment among international customers eager to get their hands on the groundbreaking device. But for some like Paul Shadwell, this disappointment soon bled into frustration and anger, prompting an email to Jobs over the matter.
In particular, Shadwell chastised the Apple co-founder for holding back international pricing information and details from customers while Americans prance around with their iPads. He also accused Jobs of repeating false claims regarding the timing of the international rollout just one week ago, when he told journalists at the iPhone 4.0 preview event that the iPad remained on track for an international launch in late April.
"Twice to my knowledge you have falsely stated international availability of the iPad and while I do not believe this is any fault of your own," Shadwell said in his email to Jobs, "I can imagine that you are not happy being shown as deliberately pulling the wool over the rest of the worlds eyes."
"Are you nuts?," Jobs responded. "We are doing the best we can. We need enough units to have a responsible and great launch."
In a report Thursday, Ovum research said it believes Apple will ship 13 million iPads globally by the end of 2011, but added that the company's decision to delay the international release may also reflect difficulty in ramping up production.
"The 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 volumes," the firm 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."
For its part, AppleInsider was tipped off to Apple's plans to delay the international launch of the iPad a day before the company issued its media advisory on the matter. According to the source, Apple had become concerned about widespread WiFi connectivity issues reported with the first batch of devices and planned to investigate the matter more thoroughly before branching out with sales. AppleInsider could not verify the claims with any degree of certainty.
Those connectivity issues reported by users included weak Wi-Fi reception, dropped signals and difficulty connecting to a network. In response to some of those issues, Apple has set up a support document suggesting some of the problems are tied to third-party Wi-Fi routers that are dual-band capable.
The company recommended that users of these routers separate Wi-Fi network names to identify each band, such as adding G to the 802.11g network name, and N to the 802.11n network name. It is also recommended that both networks use the same security type, such as WPA. Should the issues persists, Apple suggests that users reset their network settings under Settings, General, Reset.