Just when you though the iPad hype was beginning to slow, the Apple tablet will make its triumphant debut in nine countries this Friday morning. Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK will all begin to sell the iPad at 8 a.m. (relative local time). The first run will be exclusively for people that pre-ordered the iPad before May 12. Anyone that ordered after that, or is hoping to get lucky and find one in a store, will have to wait until sometime next month.
Nine more countries will receive their iPads sometime in July, and more release dates will be announced in the coming months. Demand is expected to keep the units hard to come by until at least fall.
Forecasts suggest that the iPad may move 8 million units this year. It is currently outselling Mac computers nearly two-to-one. No figures have been released regarding international pre-orders, but if it is similar to the U.S. release, or even overshadows it, those forecasts may need to be increased.
The international launch of the iPad was originally scheduled for the end of April, but it was pushed back to accommodate the American demand that was higher than expected. The iPad 3G has also seen huge sales, and is mostly sold out in the U.S. The iPad hit the 1 million units sold mark at the beginning of May.