• Kyodo News

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Softbank Mobile Corp. announced Wednesday it has stopped taking orders for Apple Inc.’s iPad tablet computer due to a worldwide supply shortage.

The suspension came just two days after the mobile phone service unit of Softbank Corp. started taking orders ahead of the iPad launch in Japan on May 28 under a partnership with the U.S. computer maker.

Consumer electronics retailers also stopped taking orders for a basic iPad model with Wi-Fi wireless Internet access and a model that can use both Wi-Fi and 3G mobile network service.

It is not known whether Softbank Mobile will resume taking orders. Apple’s retail outlets in Japan are still taking basic model orders.

Softbank Mobile was chosen as Apple’s partner for the iPad sales in Japan as it has been serving as the exclusive provider of Apple’s iPhone in Japan.

Apple said it has sold more than 1 million iPad units in the United States since its debut in April. The iPad will also be available on May 28 in eight other countries, including Australia, Germany and Italy.

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