Last year, before the UK release of the original iPad (which was delayed by a month), Apple opened up pre-orders around three weeks before the 28 May launch date.

We even received our iPad a day earlier than it officially went on sale after pre-ordering, and posted some cracking pictures to prove it.

This year, for the iPad 2, we're four days away from the proposed 25 March launch date and Apple have still to open pre-orders. So it's unlikely that it will do so now.

Unless, the only pre-order option is to pick-up your tablet sequel in store. Either way, it looks as if you're going to have to go down to your local Apple Store and stand in line for a number of hours if you simply must have your iPad 2 in hand on the 25th.

There were suggestions last week that, due to the popularity of the iPad 2 in the US (where there is now a 4-5 week wait to get hold of one), the international launch might be delayed.

Four days away though, and Apple is still insisting that a UK launch on Friday is happening, although other planned launches, such as the one in the Czech Republic, have been pushed back a month.

It's all a bit panicky for eager fanboys, that's for sure.

Our advice would be to get to the Apple Store of your choosing as early as you can and simply wait it out. We're hearing whispers of a 5pm UK launch time, although this would go against what Apple has done in the past.

Other retailers, such as the Carphone Warehouse and PC World (as well as numerous phone networks) are all supposed to be stocking the tablet from Friday, but we're hearing suggestions that some of these third party launches may indeed be delayed (although a couple of Carphone Warehouse stores we spoke to were sticking with the 25 March line).

For the moment, just keep your eyes on the Apple online store, as well as Pocket-lint, where we'll be bringing you release detail updates as soon as we get them.

UPDATE: Apple has pulled the Czech Republic launch date back up to 25 March, have they found stock or was it a typo all along?

In the meantime, check out our First Look: Apple iPad 2 review to see what all the fuss is about anyway and our Apple iPad 2: specs and details