Given how difficult it is to get an iPad 2 in America right now, you didn’t have to be a die-hard cynic to think that Apple was going to have to repeat 2010’s one month international delay in launching the iPad internationally.
Not so! Apple wants everyone to know that the iPad 2 will still launch in 25 more countries this Friday.
Apple also announced that all models of iPad 2 will be available in Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and additional countries in April.
As with the American launch, customers will be able to purchase their iPad 2 directly at an Apple retail store starting at 5pm local time. If you want to order one online, you can do so through Apple.com at 1am that same day (the press release doesn’t say, but presumably this is Pacific Time).
If you’re an international customer planning on ordering an iPad 2 online, keep in mind that even the U.S. customers who ordered their iPad 2s within minutes of the order page going live had to wait 3-5 business days for their iPad 2 to ship (mine only came yesterday). Also, U.S. customers who didn’t order their iPad 2s quickly now face a 4-5 week wait. Set your alarms and get ready to be patient.
How is Apple capable of launching in 25 countries when they can’t even supply the United States? My guess is that they’ve either been stockpiling iPad 2s for the international launch, or that current US delivery estimate times are massively informed by projected international demand.
Either way, if you’re someone who has been trying to get an iPad 2 at your local Apple Store, only to have a shady gray market iPad 2 smuggler purchase it out from under you every time, take heart! As the gray market overseas is a huge part of what is contributing to current shortages, iPad 2 availability through retail channels should actually improve when the tablet is available in more countries.