It happened last year, and we've been fearing the worst this time around too. We're talking, of course, about having the iPad 2 launch date pushed back thanks to our exuberant American cousins.
The iPad 2 is set to launch this Friday, March 25 here in the UK and several other countries. But in one of those countries – the Czech Republic – that date already seems to have been pushed back a month. A sign of things to come elsewhere?
Estimates of the number of Apple second-gen slates sold on opening weekend in the US earlier this month vary wildly between a few hundred thousand and as many as a million – Apple isn't sharing just yet.
One thing is for certain, though: the iPad 2 sold out all but completely, and now attempts to order the tablet online are met with an estimated 4-5-week shipping turnaround.
That has led to speculation that Apple could shore up US stocks with iPads originally earmarked for international customers, pushing back the worldwide launch until it's able to replace them.
And it looks as though the Czech Republic might be the first to take the hit. The Czechs were named as one of 26 countries that would be in the first wave of international releases on March 25. However, visit Apple's Czech site now and the launch is dated for 25 Dubna – or April.
Now there's the chance this is a slip-up, and the listing is supposed to say March – April 25 is Easter Monday, after all – an odd time for the iPad 2 to go on sale. But it certainly supports the theory that delays are inevitable, and stocks are in short supply.
Here in the UK, and in all the countries that were given the March 25 launch date, the iPad 2 has still even to go on pre-order, another fact supporting rumours of a delay. It could also be that Apple isn't putting the iPad 2 up for pre-order at all so that it can focus on at least getting enough units into retail outlets for launch day.