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Mountain of iPad pre-orders cause shipment delays

As the third-generation iPad makes its way into the hands of eager customers worldwide, some buyers who pre-ordered the tablet through Apple's online store are finding that their shipments have been delayed due to the onslaught of launch day deliveries.

AppleInsider has received a number of reports from readers who have noted that their iPad pre-orders, which were promised to be delivered on launch day, are being delayed to as late as Saturday.

An unknown amount of iPad shipments handled by both FedEx and UPS are seeing a slip in delivery times, with some being stuck "in transit" while others have yet to leave the carrier's facilities.

According to one reader, who will remain anonymous, a FedEx representative stated that an agreement with Apple allowed the company to extend its delivery deadline to 8 p.m., which is well past the shipment's previously quoted 3 p.m. time. The reader goes on to say that the delivery status of their package was changed to "Future Delivery Requested" without authorization before ultimately being delivered at 6:45 p.m.

Despite the apparently overwhelming demand being placed on delivery companies, many brick-and-mortar Apple stores remain stocked with the hot-selling tablet. A check with random Apple Stores along the West Coast of the U.S. found that both Wi-Fi and 4G LTE models of the new iPad were available in many locations.

Apple's third-generation iPad was announced at a special event earlier in March alongside an updated Apple TV model that can stream 1080p video. Along with a high resolution Retina Display, the new tablet features a faster A5X processor, 4G LTE-capability and a substantially larger battery.

Sales of the new iPad began on Friday and some estimates project that Apple will sell 66 million units in 2012.