updated 07:05 pm EST, Thu March 8, 2012
New iPad now shipping March 18 at best in areas
Apple has already run out of launch-day online orders of the new iPad outside of the US, according to Electronista's checks. As of Thursday night, the stores in Canada, France, and Germany were all now promising delivery no sooner than March 18, and more often March 19. UK residents are being quoted the same on the surface, but it now shows a two- to three-week wait when going to pick an individual model, regardless of the capacity or presence of 4G.
US shipments are still quoted as the March 16 launch day for most versions, with the exceptions of the AT&T 4G versions now mostly missing the weekend. Those countries getting the new iPad on March 16 are still expected to have a large amount of retail supply, at least at official Apple stores.
The mounting shortages are common for Apple, but combined with sheer activity on Apple's site on Wednesday hint at large amount of pent-up demand. Almost immediately after Apple's San Francisco event concluded, its store and parts of its regular site were completely inoperable for a significant part of the afternoon as they buckled under the weight of visitor traffic. Apple has said the release is its largest of any kind, and rumors briefly mentioned a possible 9.8 million iPads on deck for the launch period.