Apple's iPad won't be available outside the U.S. until the end of May, a delay of a month from its original global launch date.
With customers grabbing more than 500,000 iPads during the tablet's first week, demand has been higher than expected, Apple said Wednesday, and will likely exceed supply over the next several weeks. The company said that it's also trying to handle a huge number of preorders for the 3G iPad models, which are also supposed to reach the hands of U.S. customers by the end of this month.
Apple had said that on the first day, it sold more than 300,000 iPads.
"Faced with this surprisingly strong U.S. demand, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the international launch of iPad by one month, until the end of May," said Apple. "We will announce international pricing and begin taking online preorders on Monday, May 10."
Putting a positive spin on the delay, Apple said that while it expected many international customers would be disappointed, "we hope they will be pleased to learn the reason--the iPad is a runaway success in the U.S. thus far."
Customers were able to preorder the tablets as of March 12. The Wi-Fi version of the iPad hit the the U.S. on April 3, while models offering Wi-Fi and 3G are supposed to be available the end of April. Both the Wi-Fi and 3G versions were initially cleared to launch in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, and the U.K. at the end of this month.
The iPad's Wi-Fi-only version costs $499 for 16GB of memory, $599 for 32GB, and $699 for 64GB. The Wi-Fi/3G edition costs $629 for 16GB, $729 for 32GB, and $829 for 64GB.
See also: CNET's rated review of the Apple iPad