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First shipment of iPad 2 already sold out

It looks very much like initial shipments of the iPad 2 have sold out in under five hours.

Apple's online store was quoting two to three days for delivery of the in-demand gadget when it flung open its doors a few hours ago, and has now stretched the wait to between two and three weeks for every one of the 16 variations on offer.

At the time it was released, the original iPad became the fastest-selling tech gadget ever, shifting 300,000 units in its first weekend on sale (a record subsequently beaten by Microsoft's Kinect motion controller). The iPad 2 is confidently predicted to be on track to sell up to 600,000 units before close of play on Sunday night.

It's not clear how much iPad 2 stock will make it into retail inventories but, judging by today's panic-buying, we confidently predict that demand will outstrip supply for a few weeks at least.

All of which bodes ill for those of us living outside the US who will have to wait until America has had its fill before even getting a look-in. March 25th is looking more and more unlikely.