Apple runs out of pre-order supplies of new LTE iPad

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) said over the weekend that it ran out of pre-order stock of its new iPad tablet, and that customers hoping to get their hands on the new gadget on its March 16 launch day will have to pick one up form an Apple retail store or authorized reseller.

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The company, which did not provide pre-order sales figures, said that demand for the new iPad has been extremely high. "Customer response to the new iPad has been off the charts," an Apple spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news. According to Apple's website on Monday, new online orders of the iPad won't ship for two to three weeks.

Apple began taking pre-orders for the new iPad after it was announced at an event March 7. AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) will launch LTE-compatible versions of the device in the United States. The new iPad will be available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the U.S. Virgin Islands on March 16.

The tablet with Wi-Fi and LTE will cost $629 for the 16 GB version, $729 for the 32 GB version and $829 for the 64 GB version. Without LTE, the device will cost same as the iPad 2 originally did: $499 for the 16 GB model, $599 for 32 GB version and $699 for the 64 GB model. The iPad 2 will continue to be sold after the release of the new iPad, starting at $399 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi model and $529 for the 16 GB model with Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity.

Analysts have said that Verizon, which has an LTE network covering 200 million POPs, may be the largest carrier beneficiary of the new device, though AT&T has been quick to point out that even though its LTE network covers 74 million POPs, customers can still drop back to its faster HSPA+21 network outside of LTE coverage.

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this Reuters article

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