Apple delays non-U.S. iPad sales
Apple shares jump on news that the tablet computer is selling so well that Apple is running out of supply.
Apple (AAPL) said today that demand for the tablet computer is "far higher" than it expected. So, the company said it has to delay the device’s introduction outside the U.S. by a month.
The stock, naturally enough, moved higher. At 11:50 a.m. ET, the stock was at $245.39, up 1.2%. It had reached $245.75, its highest price since going public in 1980. The stock has jumped nearly 214% since bottoming on Jan. 20, 2009.
The company said it has shipped more than 500,000 iPads during the first week and expects demand to exceed its supply for the next several weeks. Apple postponed the device’s international debut until the end of May.
Initial sales signal CEO Steve Jobs may be succeeding in building a new product group at Apple between smart phones and laptop computers. The delay outside the U.S. may not hurt Apple because there is a dearth of competing products, analyst Charlie Wolf of Needham & Co. told Bloomberg News.
"You should never underestimate how Steve Jobs sees where the computing market is going," Wolf said. He rates the stock a buy and owns it himself. "It may be a modest disappointment for Europe and the other countries, but it’s in no way going to damage iPad sales."
Wolf had forecast sales of as many as 300,000 iPads for the first weekend and 1.25 million for the quarter ending in June.
The iPad went on sale April 3 in the U.S. and drew crowds to stores across the country, rivaling the frenzy seen when the iPhone was introduced in 2007. Apple said it sold more than 300,000 iPads on the first day.
The iPad is sold out at some stores, UBS analyst Maynard Um said in a note today. He added that his estimate of 1.2 million iPads shipped this quarter is probably conservative. Early sales suggest demand may be sustained beyond the initial rush of buyers Apple sees when it releases a device, Wolf said.
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