Apple's Web site indicates that its backlog for iPad pre-orders now extends more than a week, and that iPads pre-ordered this week won't ship until April 12th, according to information on the online Apple Store, Apple's official e-commerce site.
While the backlog may frustrate tech enthusiasts, it's good news for Cupertino as the situation indicates strong demand for the iPad. To boot, product shortages—whether it's a new computer or the latest talking kids doll--often help pump up the hype around a product.
The iPad tablet made its TV commercial debut earlier this month through a 30-second spot that premiered during the Academy Awards television presentation on ABC.
The ad featured video of a user manipulating a series of applications and videos on the iPad through seemingly effortless swipes, drags, touches, pokes, and other hand gestures. Danish band The Blue Van's song "There Goes My Love" played in the background.
The ad also confirmed that the Wi-Fi version of iPad will ship on April 3rd. The Wi-Fi + 3G version will ship in "late April," according to Apple.
Apple is positioning the iPad as an all-purpose mobile device for watching videos, reading e-books, messaging and e-mailing, and general purpose computing.
“iPad is something completely new,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, in a statement released March 12. “We’re excited for customers to get their hands on this magical and revolutionary product and connect with their apps and content in a more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before,” Jobs said.
Pricing for the Wi-Fi only version, which features 802.11 connectivity, starts at $499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 32GB model, and $699 for the 64GB version.
The Wi-Fi + 3G versions are priced somewhat higher. The 16GB model is $629, the 32GB model is $729, and the 64GB version is $829.