Leica has apologised to customers for software glitches that continue to delay the launch of Leica?s Digital-Modul-R kit, which will not now be available this month as planned.

The Digital-Modul-R is a digital back for Leica?s R8 and R9 SLR cameras. It houses a 10-million-pixel CCD imaging sensor and is designed to give the R8 and R9 dual film and digital capability.

The company has further held back the launch of the kit ? initially due to arrive in December last year ? in order to resolve ?a few last software problems?, according to a statement issued by Leica?s German HQ.

Details of a new launch date are due to be announced at the end of this month.

Roland Wolff, Leica Camera UK managing director, told AP: ?From various conversations with customers and dealers, we know exactly how frustrated and disappointed people are by the further delay? We can only apologise on behalf of Leica Camera AG.? Wolff assured customers that the product is ?worth waiting for? and that they ?will not be disappointed?.

The UK comments followed a statement that appeared on Leica Camera AG?s website, in which Jean-Jacques Viau, the company?s product manager for photo, said: ?Although these [the software problems] do not impair the basic function of the module, they have to be remedied before it is fully ready for production.? He added: ?We are sorry for the delay, particularly because we know that many customers have already placed firm orders and are waiting desperately for the new product.?