IPad Tablet in Short Supply at Apple's Retail Stores

Apple Inc. retail stores in 13 U.S. cities said they sold out of all three versions of the iPad 3G, which went on sale last week, and had no information about when they will get more.

Four stores in New York City, three in San Francisco and two in Los Angeles said yesterday they had no 3G tablets in stock. The same goes for some outlets in Chicago, Miami, Boston, Seattle, Denver and five other cities. Some had limited supply of three models that only support Wi-Fi communications.

Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs said this week that Apple had sold its millionth iPad on April 30, the same day customers could get models with access to AT&T Inc.’s 3G wireless network and almost a month after the Wi-Fi version was released in the U.S. Apple said today the iPad will go on sale May 28 in nine countries, including the U.K., France, Germany and Canada.

“Demand continues to exceed supply,” Natalie Kerris, a spokeswoman for Apple, said yesterday. She declined to comment on iPad supplies at the company’s stores. “We’re working hard” to provide iPads to additional customers, she said.

Jobs said the iPad’s 28-day sales record surpassed that of the iPhone, which took 74 days to reach the one million mark.

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, fell $10.39 to $235.86 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The shares have gained 12 percent this year.

Touch Screen

Analysts have speculated that the shortage may stem from difficulty in getting enough of the touch screens used in the tablet computer. Kerris declined to discuss supply shortfalls.

The device, which lets users surf the Web, watch videos, play games and read electronic books, represents a new category of device between smartphones and notebook computers. Apple offers Wi-Fi models with 16-, 32- and 64-gigabytes of memory. Prices start at $499. The least expensive iPad 3G goes for $629.

Apple said today it plans to release the iPad in Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore in July.

AppleInsider.com first reported the iPad retail shortages yesterday.

Stores were out of the iPad 3G in Austin, Texas; Arlington, Virginia; Providence, Rhode Island; and Palo Alto and Santa Clara, California.

To contact the reporters on this story: Connie Guglielmo in San Francisco at cguglielmo1@bloomberg.net; Rochelle Garner in San Francisco at rgarner4@bloomberg.net.

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