Apple Announces iPad International Rollout Dates

Apple announced that its bestselling iPad will be available in nine international markets starting May 28, with preordering in those countries starting May 10. In July, the iPad will expand to still more countries, including Belgium and Hong Kong. Apple had previously announced delays in its international rollout due to sales that apparently exceeded the company’s supply pipeline and internal expectations. More than 1 million iPads have been sold since the device’s April 3 release.

Apple announced on May 7 that the iPad will be available May 28 in nine international markets: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The iPad’s early sales success in the United States had exceeded Apple’s supply pipeline, forcing the delay in the international rollout to late May.  

A statement on Apple’s site indicated that iPad preorders for those nine markets would begin May 10, for both the WiFi-only and 3G-enabled versions of the device. The latter began selling in the United States April 30, and retails at a roughly $130 premium over the WiFi-only version.

July will see the iPad arrive in another round of countries, including Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore. Release dates and preordering for nine other countries are apparently in the works.  

Since the iPad’s April 3 release in the United States, Apple executives have repeatedly indicated that demand for the device has outstripped internal expectations. “[We] will likely continue to exceed our supply over the next several weeks as more people see and touch an iPad,” the company said in an April statement.

Total iPad sales topped 1 million units by the end of April. In addition, Apple indicated in its May 7 statement that some 12 million apps and 1.5 million ebooks had been downloaded by iPad owners. Those numbers contributed to Broadpoint AmTech analyst Brian Marshall raising his calendar year 2010 revenue estimates for Apple from $57.9 billion to $62.6 billion: “Once again, we highlight our view that Apple remains the best technology company on the planet with numerous catalysts on the horizon—e.g., international iPhone ramp, iPad ramp, emerging recurring revenue stream, etc.—and no business model issues.”

Despite delays in the international rollout, the iPad has already attracted its share of attention in other countries, with Israel temporarily banning the device due to its WiFi capability allegedly being in noncompliance with the European wireless standards.

However, Israel later reversed its decision and returned iPads confiscated by customs. “Following the completion of intensive technical scrutiny, Israel Minister of Communications Moshe Kakhlon approved the import of [the] iPad to Israel,” the Israeli Communications Ministry wrote in a statement reprinted on Reuters. “Accordingly, the import of a single device per person will be permitted commencing Sunday, April 25.”