Boston: In the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the Apple Inc is delaying the launch of its new iPad 2 in crisis-hit country.

The iPad 2 was scheduled to hit Japan markets on March 25.

"We are delaying the launch of iPad 2 in Japan, while the country and our teams focus on recovering from the recent disaster," said Apple spokesperson Natalie Kerris.

Apple had said it will begin selling its latest tablet computer, which has already by launched in US on March 2, in 26 other countries, including Mexico, New Zealand and Spain, on March 25.

The California-based technology giant has not yet set a new launch date for the tablet in Japan, which now also faces risk of nuclear radiation leak after a series of blasts at its
nuclear plant at Fukushima.

"Our hearts go out to the people in Japan, including our employees and their families, who have been impacted by this tragedy," Kerris added.

The company spokesperson said Apple's facilities and retail locations were open and functioning, with the exception of one store in Sendai Ichibancho.

Further, a report in the Wall Street Journal said that the company’s employees in Japan were helping quake victims recharge their computers and cellphones, while also offering free Internet access to contact family members.

Analysts said the disaster in Japan is expected to have minimal impact on Apple's current-quarter revenue.

In a report on the impact of the Japan disaster on Apple, Minneapolis-based investment firm Piper predicts that the crisis in Japan will impact Apple March quarter revenue by less than one per cent, which means a decrease of approximately 202 million dollars.

In a worst case scenario, where there were absolutely no iPad 2 sales in Japan in the first half of the June quarter, Apple revenue would decrease by only 2.7 per cent or 563 million dollars.

Apple’s sales in Japan accounted for about four billion dollars or 6.1 per cent of its total revenue last year.

(Agencies)