Anyone ordering Apple's new iPad online to beat the retail crowds faces a three-day delay, which the company is...
blaming on overwhelming demand for the device.
Online orders have been restricted to a maximum of two devices, and delivery will be delayed until Monday 19 March, three days after the launch date of Friday 16 March, according to the Guardian.
However, US reports say that since the weekend, Apple has been offering delivery dates in two and three weeks' time, with the company claiming demand is "off the charts".
Unveiled by chief executive Tim Cook on 7 March, the new iPad has a retina display to deliver a higher quality image than its predecessors, with four times as many pixels.
The new iPad also includes superfast LTE connectivity for mobile broadband, but because of Apple's focus on the US, early models will not be compatible with LTE frequencies allocated for the UK.
But that is not putting Apple fans off, with a queue forming at Apple's London Regent Street store on Monday 12 March, the Daily Mail reported.
The length of the queues is only likely to grow now Apple has announced the delay in fulfilling online orders.
The demand for the iPad could increase Apple's 60% share of the tablet market, with IMS Research forecasting that around 70 million iPads will be shipped in 2012, up 71% on 2011.
IMS Research said Apple's share of the tablet market will increase to 70%, while that of Android tablets will fall, from 35% in 2011 to 26% in 2012, with the planned release later this year of new tablets running Windows 8.