New iPad Pre-Order Stock Sells Out; Lines at Apple Stores Start to Form

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It's new iPad week, or at least it will be come Friday when the new Apple iPads start landing in the hands of customers.

The launch stock of the much-anticipated tablet is already depleted. Apple's online store shows that the new tablet will now ship in two to three weeks. Those who ordered immediately will receive their tablets on Friday, with some people already reporting that boxes have already arrived at their local FedEx locations.

Apple isn't revealing numbers on how many it has sold so far - it usually reserves that stat for the Monday after it has started to go on sale - but Apple spokesperson Trudy Muller did tell ABC News that demand has been "off the charts."

"The quantity available for pre-order has been purchased, customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date," said Muller. "Beginning Friday, March 16, the new iPad will be available for purchase at Apple's retail stores and select Apple authorized resellers on a first come, first-served basis."

Apple hasn't announced the exact time the tablets will go on sale at retail stores on Friday, but because the immediate online stock is sold out, lines are expected to be long. And in typical Apple-product-launch fashion, they have already started to form at some stores. Slashgear, a popular technology blog, has already spotted two in line at Apple's store in London.

The new iPad starts at $499 and has a higher resolution display, an improved camera, and 4G / LTE capabilities. Check out our first impressions of the new iPad here and stay tuned for more coverage later in the week.