- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Apple Inc. is selling out of its iPad tablet computer and its latest smart phone, the iPhone 4, as fast as it can make the new gadgets, defying ongoing doubts about the economic recovery.

The company said it sold 3.3 million iPads in the gadget’s first quarter on the market, and people who want to buy one now are finding many stores out of stock. Online, the waiting time is seven to 10 business days.

Apple’s chief operating officer, Tim Cook, addressed the short supply regarding the iPad during a conference call Tuesday.

THE QUESTION: When do you think supply and demand will be in balance?

THE RESPONSE: “We honestly don’t know is the answer. We have been pleasantly surprised at how fast this product has gotten out of the chute. If you look at how long it took us to sell the first million iPods, the 20-plus months versus the one month of iPad, it is a phenomenal difference.

“It is not following a typical early adopter curve and then taking a long time to cross into the mainstream. So I don’t know how high is high. Our guts tell us this market is very big, and we believe that iPad is really defining the market, and we to want take full advantage of it, and so we are investing enormous time and resource in increasing our capability and getting iPad out to as many people as we can.”