Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Norway halts Apple iPad pre-orders

February 10, 2010: 9:24 AM ET

Signs of "crazy interest" in Steve Jobs' tablet computer in Scandinavia, Europe and Asia

Could enthusiasm for the iPad be even greater overseas than it is in the U.S.?

Exhibit A: Two Apple (AAPL) resellers in Norway have been overwhelmed by eager buyers whose pre-orders exceeded expected supply in less than a week.

"It's been a crazy interest and demand for Apple's latest creation, iPad," reads the website of Eplehuset (Apple House), a "premium reseller" with stores in Norway and Denmark. "Price and delivery for Europe will be ready in a short time, but in the meantime, we have chosen not to receive more pre-orders for now." (Google translation.)

Eplehuset didn't disclose exactly how many pre-orders it had received, but the Norwegian website iPodi reports that the number had reached four figures and that the 64 GB model was the most popular. A second reseller, Humac, has also stopped taking pre-orders for "iPaden," although the Wi-Fi and 3G/Wi-Fi models are still listed on its site.

Meanwhile, London's The Independent reports that five major mobile carriers -- Telefonica (TEF), Hutchison, Vodafone (VOD), France Telecom and T-Mobile (DT) -- are vying for the rights to sell 3G wireless coverage in Europe. Each is reported to have had board-level discussions with Cupertino. Said one source: "All the players will be speaking to Apple.

And on Tuesday, iPhonAsia's Dan Butterfield reported that Apple's website in China, despite government restrictions on mobile devices with Wi-Fi capability, has started taking "indications of interest" from potential customers -- recording the e-mail addresses of those who would like to be notified when the iPad goes on sale. "This does not necessarily assure that iPad will be available in China," writes Butterfield. "But it's an encouraging sign."

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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