Delays in iPad pre-orders set to trigger huge queues outside Apple stores

Adam Parris-Long

Massive demand for the new iPad has resulted in 2-3 week delays for those who ordered online with the prospect now of bigger queues than ever outside Apple stores around the country.

The company said “off the charts” demand for the device had stalled online preorders leading to the delays in the UK as well as in Germany, Japan, France and Switzerland. The new iPad goes on sale this Friday.

The lack of availability is expected to result in more people going to stores in person to get their hands on the tablet.

Queuing for the new iPad has already begun outside London's Regent Street with Zohaib Ali, 21, already in pole position. He first pitched up on Saturday.

“I’m really excited for this next one, it has lots of really good features,” Mr Ali told Yahoo! News. “I was here for the iPhone 4S launch and there were people right down the street so more people should be here soon.”

“For entertainment I’ve got my laptop and iPad 2 here so I’ll be fine until Friday.” 

Queuing for last March’s iPad 2 release in Covent Garden, London, began 33 hours before the store had even opened, with hundreds eventually turning out to wait for the tablet computer.

[Related article: Apple reveals new iPad tablet]

The device was unveiled on Thursday and is simply named “iPad” as opposed to iPad3 which many had anticipated.

Boasting a “retina display” that gives it a million more pixels than a HD TV, Apple Vice President Phil Schiller called the device “the best mobile display that has ever shipped”.

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