I4U will have continuing coverage of the iPad 2 launch events. Stay tuned.
The iPad 2 goes on sale tonight at 5:00 PM tonight. I've spent the morning touring around several Dallas Best Buys and Targets, checking with staff about their expectations. No lines has formed at any location I visited, but employees said they expected much more activity as 5:00 PM draws closer.
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"We're pretty sure it's going to be crazy." said one Blue Shirt. "Especially if the Apple Stores run out early."
The local Apple Stores are apparently manic right now. And reports of madcap lines from all across the country should be all the evidence you need to avoid anything with an Apple on it today. If you aren't in line yet, your best bet may be to hit up a 3rd party retailer and hope demand is minimal.
You'll want to call and check ahead first. Many Best Buys and Targets I've called in the last week reported that they would not receive their first shipments until several days after launch. Since the iPad 2 is likely to be a record-breaking seller, we can expect resupply dates to be several weeks off in the future.
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Those of you who order online will be stuck waiting 2-3 weeks for your shipment to arrive. That alone may be enough motivation to get butts out of chairs and in lines at Big Box retailers around the country. Be warned: the current "line free" state of many 3rd party stores will not last long. If you have to buy an iPad 2 today, now is the time to get moving.