The iPad 2 went on sale in the United States on March 11th. The new iPad sold out online and in stores very quickly over the weekend. New iPad 2 stock is just trickling in, resulting in crazy long lines in front of Apple stores one week after the launch. MacRumors has some photos from readers that show hundreds of people standing in front of the Apple Fifth Avenue store in New York.
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The Apple online store states a shipping date of 4 to 5 weeks for a new iPad 2 order.
It is clear that Apple once again underestimated the demand for the iPad. When Apple launched the original iPad I totally understood that Apple could not know that it would sell so well. As a result Apple had to postpone the international launch of the iPad. With the iPad 2 Apple should have known what the demand is. They just would have needed to project the iPhone sale numbers (3GS iPhone sales numbers compared to iPhone 3G) to get a ball park number on the iPad 2 demand. My estimate is that Apple would have needed 2 million iPad 2 during the first week of sales.
What adds to the frustration of Apple fans are the reports (NY Post) of scalpers gangs that are able to buy iPads for resale. Apple could have thought about a scheme to make it harder to pull this off.
Given the demand in the United States I see Apple postponing the iPad 2 launch in Europe this week. Apple will also likely run into component supply issues in a couple of weeks because of the Japanese Earth Quake reports Digitimes. Apple needs to scramble to bring iPad 2 stock to US consumers to not risk damage to their image now. Of course this would anger European Apple fans, but they are used to it.
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