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You still might have to wait one to two weeks to receive an iPad from Apple.com if you live in the U.S. If you live in other parts of the world, however, your chance to buy Apple’s latest device could come as early as Friday.
As we reported earlier, Apple is expanding the iPad to 21 additional territories by the end of April, with 12 of those territories getting the iPad by April 20. All told, that’ll bring the iPad to some 57 countries and territories across the planet within about six weeks of the device’s initial launch. This is the most aggressive rollout of just about any Apple device ever.
Apple has struggled in the past, especially with its iPad, to keep supply in pace with demand after launching new products. Last year, the launch of the iPad 2 wasn’t nearly so fast or comprehensive: Apple got the device into around 39 countries within about the first five weeks, as GigaOM notes, so the new iPad’s launch is a substantial gain over last year. Apple has been helped along by better circumstances than last year, when Foxconn as struggling to hire employees fast enough to fill iPad orders, and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan created a lot of problems for electronics manufacturers all over the world.
Meanwhile, the wait for the iPad for people ordering online remains at something like one to two weeks, according to Apple.com. Reportedly, while iPads might be a little slower in getting distributed when ordering directly from Apple, the company’s retail chain stores seem to have a fair stock of most versions of the device. So it seems that while high demand might be delaying shipments slightly online, for the most part, Apple has finally gotten its supply chain issues worked out, and is able to get iPads into the hands of consumers a lot more quickly and effectively than in the past.
Friday will see the iPad hitting Brunei, Croatia, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Malaysia, Panama, St Maarten, South Korea, Uruguay and Venezuela. A week later, on April 27, eight more countries get the device: Colombia, Estonia, India, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, South Africa and Thailand.