If you want an iPad 2 anytime in the next few days, you’d better stop reading this and go get in line at the Apple Store. Waiting times for online orders are now 2-3 weeks—and getting longer.
Maybe Apple isn’t as well-prepared for the iPad 2 launch as we expected them to be. Just 12 hours after Apple began taking online orders for the next gen tablet, wait times for delivery are already getting longer. Soon after the iPad 2 went on sale this morning, ship times were pushed back from 2-3 days to 5-7 days, and now stand at 2-3 weeks. This could expand even more as orders come in.
This same problem plagued the launch of the original iPad in April 2010, with Apple taking four months to catch up to demand. This means that iPad 2 buyers who don’t want to wait 2-3 weeks or more will have to make it down to an Apple retailer and get in line. At some stores, the Apple faithful have been lining up for days, and at the NYC flagship Apple Store, an enterprising college student has already sold her number-one spot in line for $900.
So is Apple caught off guard by the demand, or is this the way they planned it? Technology Business Research analyst Ezra Gottheil thinks the latter. “They’ve timed it perfectly. They’ve built up some stock, but not too much. Not too little, either, that they’ll be out long enough for buyers to lose patience waiting. And so the hysteria continues.”