Apple: International iPad 2 launch is still on schedule for


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If I still lived in Europe, I’d be willing to bet at this point that Apple is going to miss the international launch of the iPad 2 on Friday. I mean, just look at the state of things: Apple Stores are still seeing long lines of customers, and shipping dates of an iPad 2 ordered right this second is 5 weeks away. Heck, I ordered my iPad 2 online the very second it became available on March 11th, and my iPad 2 only arrived today. Apple just doesn’t have the stock for an international launch this month. No way.
Or do they? Apple says that despite the fact that they can’t even begin to satisfy US demand for the iPad 2, they’ll be launching on March 25th in about a dozen more countries. This all according to an Apple UK spokesperson who told Tech Radar that “everything that is on the website [about the UK launch] still holds true.”
How? Apple didn’t have enough stock before a 9.0 earthquake and massive tsunami hit Japan. How do they have enough for an international launch?
Well, one theory is that Apple is purposefully holding iPad 2 stock back for the international launch, but I just don’t buy it: I think they are shipping out iPad 2s literally as fast as they can make them. Rather, I think what Apple has reserved is time on the assembly line schedule to make international iPad 2s. In other words, we reached those 4-5 week delivery times in the United States so quickly because Apple was anticipating international demand.
If I’m right on this, it was a smart move on Apple’s part. Last year, Apple was forced to delay the international rollout of the iPad 2 due to overwhelming U.S. demand. It looks like they’ve figured out a way to avoid the embarassment this time.