Apple sells out of initial supplies of the new iPad in every country where it will launch the tablet on Friday.

Great demand for iPad 3 as Apple runs out for Friday delivery.

The hugely awaited Apple iPad has sold out. Apple has sold out of initial supplies of the new iPad in every country where it will launch the tablet on Friday, and is now telling buyers that orders will not ship for up to three weeks.

In the US and Canada, all iPad pre-orders placed through Apple’s online store will now ship on March 19, three days after the on-sale date. Any customers that placed orders very early in the pre-sale process were told that they would receive the tablet on Friday, 16 March, showing that they will arrive three days late.

Some consumers have received emails confirming the shipping of their tablets, however Hong Kong’s online store is simply stating that the new iPad is currently unavailable.

US carriers Verizon, and AT&T, both which will also sell the iPad, are only taking customers’ email addresses for later notification when the tablet is ready. The tight supplies and resulting delays were not surprising considering the demand for the product.

Last year, the Apple iPad 2 sold out on its first day of availability I the US where shipping delays changed several times on opening day, first from two to three business days, then five to seven days, and finally two to three weeks.

Tim Cook, the chief operations officer at the time, called the demand “staggering” and admitted orders were bogged down in the “mother of all backlogs”. Only in the midpoint of 2011’s third quarter did Apple claim iPad 2 supplies had matched demand.

More recently, analysts have predicted that Apple would face the problem for a second time, mostly because the large suppliers of the new model’s higher resolution screen have had difficulty getting high yields from their lines. 

The iPad is scheduled to be released in Ireland on Friday 23rd March, but as of this morning, there was no option to pre-order it from Apple’s local web-store.