Japanese iPad 2 launch delayed

The launch of the iPad 2 in Japan has been postponed indefinitely as the country attempts to cope with the wake of the earthquake and tsunami disaster.

Apple spokeswoman Nat Kerris told All Things Digital's John Paczkowski the delay was necessary while a massive recovery effort was underway. The second-generation iPad was to go on sale in Japan on March 25.

“We are delaying the launch of the iPad 2 in Japan while the country and our teams focus on recovering from the recent disaster. Our hearts go out to the people of Japan, including our employees and their families, who have been impacted by this terrible tragedy [sic].” The Japanese debut of the iPad had been slated for March 25, the device’s international launch day. Its new launch date has not yet been set,'' she said.

The iPad 2 is still set to go on sale March 25 in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K.

The iPad delay came just days after Microsoft announced it would delay the launch of Internet Explorer 9 in the stricken country, citing a desire to reduce network load at a time when communications infrastructure was stressed to breaking point. IE9 was officially launched in most nations yesterday.

Neowin also reported yesterday that Apple Stores in Japan are working to support staff and members of the public in the immediate aftermath of the 9-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami. According to AppleInsider, Japanese sales made up 5.4 percent of Apple's overall revenue in the first quarter of fiscal 2011. The site also quoted analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray as saying the quake disaster could wipe as much as US$202 million off Apple's in the March quarter.

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