Apple Inc. sold 500,000 iPads in the first week of sales, prompting it to delay its international launch until the end of May in order for its manufacturers to catch up.
But is the proper term iPad or iCrack? A full 300,000 went out the door the first day.
The sales far exceeded expectations, the company said, noting that it expects strong demand to continue as more people experience the device – which is for now Wi-Fi-only – and then decide they can’t live without it.
The Cupertino juggernaut also announced that U.S. pre-orders for the 3G version of the device – which is due to market at the end of the month – are also surprisingly strong.
The success comes despite widespread publicity about Wi-Fi glitches and the device’s lack of some features, notably a camera, Flash support, large amounts of disk space, voice and applications that just don’t quite resonate in the larger-than-iPhone format. Multitasking isn’t there either, which for some is a table-stakes item for any computing device, but the new version of the iPhone OS, 4.0, will fix that when the upgrade becomes available for iPad this fall.
Analysts have said that the supply outweighing expected demand might signal future problems for Apple, because some of their partners for components are not set up to make the parts at that kind of scale.
Apple had planned to start selling the device in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the U.K. this month, but they will have to wait. However, customers overseas will be able to finally get pricing and start placing preorders for the iPad on May 10.