The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime is one of the most anticipated gadgets of the year, but the majority of tablets will not be delivered until 2012, according to an order status update.

Since pre-orders for the tablet started in the U.S. last week, customers have been sent a string of emails from Best Buy and Amazon giving a mix of delayed shipping dates and options to cancel orders.

Some Amazon orders were even cancelled automatically. The giant sent out an email saying the cancelation had occurred inadvertently due to a glitch in the system. Customers had the option to re-order on Dec.19 or were offered a $10 gift voucher upon cancellation, Droid Life reported.

The news has wreaked havoc among ASUS forums as many customers had ordered the new tablet as Christmas gifts. Best Buy customers were given the option to cancel their orders completely, or to replace it with a similar device, according to Engadget.

Here's what ASUS had to say about the delay:

ASUS started filling the inventory pipelines this past week for our new Eee Pad Transformer Prime and will continue to do so on an expedited basis for the foreseeable future. We will reach normal inventory levels in January for the North American market based on current orders and forecasts. Based on forecasted supply schedules to our valued partners we expect pre-order allocation fulfillment to occur shortly and online or in-store availability in the very near future. We will continue to work closely with our partners to fill customer orders as quickly as possible.

 The Tablets are now expected to ship in early 2012 for the 32GB version and the 64GB will follow soon after, Slash Gear reports.

It seems Canadians who pre-ordered their tablets from Best Buy in Canada had the lucky draw. Best Buy sent out an email on Monday announcing  that the Eee Pad was back in stock and the 32GB would be sent out by Dec.30.

The email from Best Buy was obtained by Mobile Syrup:

 Thank you for your patience as we wait for our shipments of the ASUS Transformer Prime. We are receiving our first batches of the 32GB Grey model. Our inventory will be a mix of English & Bilingual packaged versions. Please note that the only difference is the packaging on the box and an extra -CBIL on the part number. The actual Transformer Prime unit itself is identical - there are no physical or specification changes otherwise.

 The launch was originally delayed after the company recalled 300 of its Eee Pad Transformer Prime Tablets due to Wi-Fi Connectivity issues. The problem was only found in the first batch of tablets sold in Taiwan, according to the company.

Pre-orders for the tablet also opened in the U.K last week priced at £499, but there have been no reports of further delays since the pre-orders went live.

Pricing in the U.S will range from $499 (32GB) to $599** (64GB), with the optional mobile dock accessory priced at $149. 

The Eee Pad Transformer Prime is the first tablet to herald the NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor. It is ultra-thin at 8.3mm and weighs only 586g and comes with state-of-the-art SonicMaster Audio technology, an HD 8MP rear auto-focus camera with LED flash. And all with an 18-hour battery-left when combined with the mobile dock.