5 Comments

Summary:

The iPad 2 is in the midst of its international launch, and by all accounts, the device is doing well. Reports of lines at international Apple Stores abound, and online orders seem all to be showing 2 to 3 week shipping windows.

Apple employees using the iPad 2 in Kansas. Photo by Dave Greenbaum.

The iPad 2 is in the midst of its international launch (depending on where you fall on the international dateline) and, by all accounts, the device is selling well. Reports of lines at international Apple Stores abound, and online orders seem all to be showing two- to three-week shipping windows.

Apple mirrored the U.S. launch in pretty much every regard with its first batch of international launches: online order availability beginning at 1 a.m. local time, and in-store retail sales (at Apple locations and at retail partners like Best Buy) beginning at 5 p.m. There were no pre-orders, and there was no way to reserve an iPad 2 for in-store pick-up in advance, as has been the case with some previous product launches.

Many, myself included, assumed the iPad 2’s early sell-out success in the U.S., combined with possible supply chain problems stemming from the disaster in Japan, might lead to a delay of Apple’s international launches, but Apple itself allayed those fears earlier in the week, and launches have proceeded as planned in time zones where it’s already past 5 p.m.

But the price of sticking to the planned international launch timeline may be quick stock-outs, if existing information is any indication. While the iPad 2’s shipping time in the U.S. via the online store recently improved from four to five weeks, to three to four, it looks as though international customers hoping to purchase online were greeted almost immediately (if not immediately) with an estimated two- to three-week wait. That makes lining up the surest way to find an iPad anytime in the immediate future, and as lines like the one at the Toronto Eaton Centre here in Canada already numbered in the hundreds eight hours ahead of when the iPad 2 actually goes on sale, it’s fair to assume that a decent number of customers will be left wanting.

I applaud Apple for sharing the iPad 2 wealth with international markets, instead of just redirecting supply to satisfy the U.S. demand and fulfill online orders placed in that country, but be aware that the trade-off is that if you want an iPad 2 today, getting out early to the nearest retail location is probably your best bet.

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  1. Laughing_Boy48 Friday, March 25, 2011

    It’s rather amazing how overwhelming demand of a product can be turned into a negative spin. Apple has never said anything about there being low stock. Low stock is pure speculation at this point. First off, there are very few people that know exactly how much iPad 2 inventory Apple has. Nor do any bloggers know about exactly how many iPad 2s are being sold. Nor are outsiders privy to the iPad 2 exact build rate. Assuming that Foxconn can only produce five million iPad 2s a month and demand has reached a need for 10 million a month then one could probably speculate that stock will be low or nonexistent at some point. But so what? Anything beyond five million iPad 2s sold a month is well beyond current expectations. Logistically speaking, nothing can be done about it as I’m assuming Foxconn is already working at above capacity. Some consumers will have to wait for their iPad 2s and there is no other option.

  2. I totally agree with Laughing_Boy48. I’m not sure if there is anyone out there that would be able to keep up with the demand that the iPad 2 has right now, it would be unreasonable to expect that Foxconn could keep up with this unprecedented demand unless they were manufacturing these things months in advance. Of course all of this speculation of low iPad 2 stocks only serves to perpetuate the already frenzied demand making demand even higher.

  3. Ummm Apple has yet to fill online orders from March 11th I know I’m one of them so yes they are short on stock and shouldn’t sell a single iPad in another market till opening day orders for US customers have been filled

    1. Why are you as a US customer more important than a British customer? You do know where Jonathan Ive, the lead designer of the iPad 2, is from don’t you? Hint: It’s not America.

      I think it is wrong the UK had to wait 2 weeks in the first place, we ar not second class citizens.

  4. Hey, Apple sold more iPAD 2’s in the 1st hour than Motorola Xoom’s did in the past month.

    The iPAD 2 could turn out to be Apple’s killing machine:

    1st it will kill the Galaxy & Xoom. Pretty much a given already.

    Then the Playbook. In the meantime, notebooks and maybe PCs too. Acer just issued a warning.

    And then it will do in the HP’s tablet and you might as well count the phones too because they’re not going anywhere with just a different logo on them.

    And finally, the iPAD 2 killing machine will do in Google (no more copycat products- per Steve Jobs).

    Hooray for the iPAD 2!

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