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New iPad pre-orders sold out, says Apple

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Apple has said that new iPad stock it allocated for pre-orders has sold out entirely, amid "off the charts" demand for the third generation of the tablet computer.

Pre-orders for the new iPad, featuring a Retina display, zippier A5X processor and 4G connectivity, were launched immediately after the product was announced by Apple last Wednesday.

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the new iPad

© PA Images / Paul Sakuma/AP


> The new iPad: Are you going to buy it? Poll

The California technology giant had promised to ship the first new iPad orders on March 16, but anyone now pre-ordering the device will have to wait until March 19.

According to USA Today, the shipping delays affect all models and price levels, and there is now a limit of just two new iPads per customer for any pre-orders.

"Customer response to the new iPad has been off the charts and the quantity available for pre-order has been purchased," Apple said in a statement. "Customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date."

A new Apple iPad on display

© PA Images / Paul Sakuma/AP

New iPad (third generation)

© Apple


> "iPad 3" accounts for 1 in every 2,000 web searches

Any customers now hoping to get the new iPad on March 16 will need to queue up at Apple's retail stores, or visit official resellers.

However, there have been unconfirmed rumours that shipments worldwide could be delayed to retail stores from three days to three weeks.

This could mean a potentially long wait for eager Apple fans at the outlets on Friday, although it could also be a clever marketing ploy by Apple.

The company often reports supply delays ahead of new product launches, including pre-orders for the iPhone 4S selling out in less than a day last October.

> Apple to release 'new iPhone' this summer?
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