MidEast arrival of iPad 3 could be delayed - retailer

Customers can expect to pay 2 to 3 times normal price on grey market
MidEast arrival of iPad 3 could be delayed - retailer
The new iPad was unveiled in the US last week.
By Elizabeth Broomhall
Wed 14 Mar 2012 10:21 AM

UAE deliveries of Apple’s latest iPad device could be delayed following news the technology giant
has run out of stock for online pre-orders, a local retailer has said.

Shipments to the Gulf state, described as a second tier
market, are likely to be postponed while Apple seeks to pacify customers in
first wave markets, the general manager of Dubai-based electronics retailer Plug-Ins said.

Earlier this week, Apple told US media that the demand for the new iPad
was "off the charts" and was forced it to revise its delivery times
for online buyers.

“I think they've certainly under shot the demand for
this launch,” said Plug-Ins' Omar
Abushaban.

“This will, in all likelihood, cause a significant
delay in the launch of the iPad 3 in this market since we'll see a magnified
ripple effect here. Since we're not a first wave market, and taking into
account the precedent that Apple has set with these launches in the past,
they'll ramp up production [in first wave markets] to satisfy the backlog of
pre-orders and retail bookings and then they'll consider second tier markets in
their forecast," he said.

“Inevitably, this will drive up the already outrageous
price tag on parallel stock that will be available in the UAE. UAE consumers
can expect to pay up to double and triple the retail price when these are
available through gray market channels.”

The third iteration of the tablet computer was unveiled last Wednesday
at an event in California, attracting the attention of tech-savvy consumers
around the world.

Customers
who placed orders on the earlier side of the pre-sales process were initially
told they would receive the tablet on March 16, the same day that the new iPad
would go on sale in stores.

However, Apple confirmed on Saturday that any new
orders in its home market would not ship until 19 March, three days after its
official release.

Shoppers who buy an iPad through Apple's website in markets such as
Australia, France, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Singapore and the UK can also
expect holdups, with reports citing possible delays of two to three weeks. The
Hong Kong online store says the new iPad is currently unavailable.

Long wait times for Apple products have become typical in recent years,
with deliveries of the iPad 2 postponed by five weeks and customers waiting
around a month for the iPhone 4S in late 2011.

But other UAE retailers have played down the issue, saying supply
problems are inevitable with the release of such a popular device.

“Honestly,
it's a case of making a mountain out of a molehill,” said Ashish Panjabi, COO
of Jackys, who last week warned retailers not to buy the iPad 3 for the first
month when prices will be at their highest.

“Apple has
been very ambitious in trying to roll out the new iPad in as many countries as
possible and has improved the time to market with each product launch.

“In this
case, it is still great to see them closing the gap where they are now talking
in days and weeks instead of months, or even years as was the case when the UAE
got the iPhone 3GS for the first time officially.

“Managing
the supply and demand equilibrium has always been a challenge for any Apple
product at launch.”

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