Delays for iPad in UK after pre-orders outstrip demand...

Steve Dinneen
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THE instant success of Apple’s iPad in its native US looks set to be repeated in the UK after record pre-orders have already outstripped demand.

The tablet notebook – described by Apple as “revolutionary” – finally goes on sale in the UK on 28 May after a series of delays.

But now Apple is warning even pre-orders placed between now and the release date will not be shipped until at least 7 June.

The initial UK release – originally slated for a month ago – was scrapped after huge demand for the product in the US. Apple shifted more than 1m units in less than a month, far outselling its iPhone, which took 74 days to reach the milestone.

The iPad has beaten all analysts’ sales expectations, despite a lukewarm reception when it was finally unveiled earlier this year.

Market research firm GfK NOP now estimates a staggering 2m iPads will be sold in the UK, with around five per cent of British consumers intending to splash out on one.

This is despite an outcry over the pricing for the device in the UK. The basic model starts at £429 – more than £100 more than the equivalent US price. A top of the range 64GB device with Wi-Fi and 3G network access will cost a cool £699.

Meanwhile, BT hopes to cash in on the iPad’s success with its own tablet device. Sources told City A.M. BT is developing a product that would be a “home based” hub that would be able to surf the web and act as a communications hub. More information will be released later this year.