Apple has postponed the launch of its next generation iPad tablet device in Japan in the wake of earthquake and tsunami that have ravaged the Asian country.
The iPad 2, which is already a massive hit in the US, was supposed to be launched in Japan on March 25th at the same time as 25 other nations.
Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said in an emailed statement, “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,” she added.
According to Bloomberg, the company has also closed its retail outlet in the city of Sendai that is among one of the worst hit areas following the quake and sunami.
Apple had made $4 billion from sales in Japan last year but analysts estimate that the delayed launch in Japan will not have a significant impact on profits for the iPhone maker. Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray, suggested the fallout from the earthquake would cause a less than one per cent fall in overall sales in Q1.
Apple's iPad 2, which was estimated to have sold upto a million units in its first weekend in the US, will arrive in UK stores on March 25th.