The Apple iPad 2 craze is in full effect here in the US. After selling out within minutes online and hours in both Apple Stores and third party retailers, the world’s best tablet is becoming increasingly difficult to track down. Apple’s website now lists all models of the iPad 2 with expected availability between 4 to 5 weeks.
There’s no telling whether supply constraints or simply overwhelming demand are the root of Apple’s woes, but anyway you shake it — the Cupertino team needs more iPad 2s. Within moments of appearing online, the shipping date was listed at 3 to 5 days, a few hours later that time frame had sky rocketed to 2 to 3 weeks. A day later that became 3 to 4 weeks and now, 4 to 5 weeks for all 18 models.
Meanwhile in retail outlets, reports came in this morning that Apple Stores had received fresh inventory Tuesday. For Apple stores lucky enough to land a shipment, lines quickly formed outside and employees distributed wristbands to anxious customers. Once again, all units were sold within hours.
Given the current demand, the pressing question is whether this response will impact the March 25th International release. We’ll sit back, grab some popcorn and watch the events unfold until Apple spreads the good word. For now, let’s keep our fingers crossed.