NEW YORK — Apple said it is “working hard to get
iPad 2 into the hands of every customer who wants one
as quickly as possible” in the wake of shortages of the
product at retail.
The product went on sale at 5 p.m. local time March
11 Friday and went out of stock quickly in many stores.
Analyst Chris Whitmore of Deutsche Bank said a survey
of around 100 stores a few hours after the device
went on sale found all of the stores to be out of stock.
He estimated sell-through of more than 450,000 units
on the first day.
Piper Jaffray estimated that 400,000 to 500,000 iPad
2s were sold in one day compared with 300,000 iPads
sold last year in their first weekend of availability.
AT&T said last Monday that it sold out of inventory and
was taking orders “through our direct fulfillment process,”
with deliveries set for 14 to 21 days after orders
are placed, the same as online orders.
Verizon Wireless didn’t say how many of its stores were
out of stock last Monday but did say customers can go to
stores to place an order and have the iPad 2 shipped to
their house, but online purchases are not available.
A Best Buy spokesperson told Reuters that some stores
ran out within 10 minutes. The chain offers the Wi-Fi version
of the iPad 2 in its Best Buy stores and select Best
Buy Mobile store locations, with the AT&T and Verizon versions
limited to the chain’s Apple Sales Consultant (ASC)
stores. Best Buy’s online release date has not been set.
Walmart, which began to sell the iPad 2 in select
stores and online at Walmart.com March 11, reported
high demand. It planned to roll out the product in additional
stores in the coming weeks to reach almost 1,500
Walmart stores by the end of the month, eventually planning
to feature it in up to 2,300 stores.
At Walmart.com, the chain will carry the Wi-Fi-only,
Verizon 3G and AT&T 3G versions, each in all three
memory capacities. All will also be available in black or
white through the online store.
Target cited large demand and said that although its
stores “are continuing to receive shipments of units,” the
quantities as of March 15 were “limited.”
For the launch, Verizon Wireless served up three iPad
2 models with embedded Verizon-network 3G and Wi-
Fi. They’re priced at $629 for the 16GB model, $729
for the 32GB model, and $829 for the 64GB model, all
available in black or white.
For these models, Verizon offers four data plans beginning
at $20 per month. All are available without a contract,
enabling users to drop service at any time without
a financial penalty. Verizon offers its iPad 2 rate plans
only on prepaid basis billed to a credit card.
The Verizon plans are $20/month for 1GB of data,
$35/month for 3GB of data, $50/month for 5GB and
$80/month for 10GB. The cost of overage charges
AT&T’s iPad 2 rate plans are almost the same as its
smartphone data plans, with $14.99 for 250MB (200MB
for smartphones) or $25 for 2GB of data (same as the
smartphone plan). For the iPad, both plans are available
without activation fees.
To activate the AT&T iPhone’s Personal Hotspot feature,
which is available with the new iOS 4.3, consumers
must choose the iPhone’s $25/month 2GB data plan
and pay an additional $20 for the tethering option, which
provides an extra 2GB of data for a total of 4GB.