Apple said that shipments of its new iPad to customers who order it online may take two to three weeks but that the tablet would still be available in stores in the US and nine countries this Friday.
New Zealand pricing and availability is yet to be announced, although an Apple statement promised the new iPad by the end of March.
Apple, which had set March 16 as the launch date for release sales of the third-generation iPad, said online pre-orders of the device had been going on since March 7.
However, a notice seen today on the Apple website for the new iPad said: "Ships: 2-3 weeks."
Apple launched the third-generation iPad last week, enhanced with features aimed at keeping it on top of the booming tablet computer market.
The new iPad boasts a more powerful processor, eye-grabbing resolution on par with that of an iPhone 4S, and the ability to connect to the latest 4G LTE telecom networks that move data faster than their predecessors.
It is due to be released simultaneously in 10 countries and territories: the United States, France, Canada, Australia, Germany, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong.
An iPad with 16 gigabytes of memory and with both WiFi and 4G connectivity will cost US$629 in the United States while a 32GB Wi-Fi/4G model will cost $729 and a 64GB version with WiFi and 4G will cost $829.
In a bid to cater to budget-minded shoppers, Apple will sell a 16GB version of the iPad 2 at a trimmed price of $399.
The new iPad screen was billed as the best display ever on a mobile device. The tablet also features a five-megapixel camera and high-definition video recording.