Early iPad 2 retail sales marked by long lines, sold out inventory

iPad 2

iPad 2

The iPad 2 went on sale on Friday March 11th and early reaction to Apple’s second generation tablet was very favorable. Online sales began at 1 am Pacific Time and the initial supply of tablets was quickly depleted. Within a few hours, the shipping date had creeped from two to three days to five to seven days. By the time the sun rose on the West Coast, shipping times for the iPad 2 were already pushed out 2-3 weeks. Those that may have ordered online had to decide whether to wait two weeks for their tablet to arrive or hoof it down to their local store. Judging by what happened on Friday afternoon, many people opted for the latter.

On Friday afternoon, Twitter was buzzing with reports of happy customers waiting in line for their iPad 2. As the day went on, the reports of people walking out with an Apple tablet in hand filled the timeline, while those in the back of line began to count numbers. Hundreds of people were lined up at stores around the nation waiting for hours to get their hands on Apple’s latest tablet device. Once the lines were in full swing, reports of stores being sold out started to hit the news wire. Some stores sold out of the white models, others depleted their 3G supply and some even sold their entire stock of tablets. If you braved the crowds today to snag an iPad 2, share your experiences in the comments.

[Via Twitter and 9to5Mac]

  • Yemyem20

    I went to best buy 30 minutes before they started selling the iPad 2. I was one of the last people who were able to get a 32g white model. The stock of iPads seemed to deplete starting from the white models(pretty much all the white models were gone before I left the store) including the 3G models for both AT&T and Verizon. I saw a lot of people compromise for the black models after waiting in line so long.

    • Astroking01

      whats so special about the white models?

      • Qwerty7

        Yeah really…….I’d be mad if all they had (after waiting in line for hours….) were white models!

      • Mike

        After going to Apple store today and looking at the black & white ipad 2, we really liked the black one….It’s subtle but its easier on the eyes to view screen. The black border color seems to really make the view of the screen pop more than the white border….it frames the visual better….Check it out….

  • Tyler

    I got in line at 1pm at the Beverly Center store in Los Angeles. It definitely wasn’t the smoothest launch as they gave out tickets for your specified model (based on their inventory list), but many soon found out that they didn’t have the model they were given a ticket for. Even within the first 20 in line (most shortages were with the AT&T 64 & 32 gig models). I chose the black AT&T 16 gig model and was the 35th in line. When I got into the store, they said they only had it in white. Before getting very pissed off, I asked if they had it with Verizon and they did (black 16 gig). I actually was leaning towards Verizon anyway, so it worked out for me. But there were a lot of very angry customers that waited for many hours only to find out that their “promised” model wasn’t available at the last second. Fortunately, I got what I wanted and couldn’t be happier!

  • Decafe

    Got in line at 7:05pm and walked out around 8:30 with 2 white 16GB Wi-Fi ipad2 in Palo Alto, CA

  • Mar19

    I woke up at 3:30 am eastern time and ordered mine online. I am assuming I was one of the first since my shipping time was 3-5 business days and my order status says its being prepared for shipping and that I will have it by Wednesday the 16th 🙂

  • Guyisbusy

    Got in line at Garden State Plaza in Paramus NJ at 2:30pm I had about 300 people ahead of me and 400 behind me. The line moved relatively quick as they had a ton of sales people from the closed Willowbrook Mall store there due to flooding of that mall. By 5:45 I had a black 32G VZ and a black 16G. They did run out of the white 16 and 32 G ATT models within the first 20 min I noticed. They were very helpful in the store to take the time to setup your iPads if tou would like and didn’t make you seemed rushed even with all the chaos of the crowds. Overall a good experience.

  • Shirleyginter

    I waited for 2 1/2 hours only to be told all 32 wifi ATT 3G sold out – white sold out first then black (I didn’t care what color). Now question – will they have more today (Saturday)? When to go back? I don’t want to invest MORE time.

  • Lisa C

    I was the first on line at my local Target in NJ. They were supposed to get 15. The shipment never came and no one in the store knew why. Major dissatisfier.

  • Kayaman002

    I went to the apple store here in providence RI for an ipad2, little did I know there was a line from the apple store and out the mall entrance. I thought I had lost this battle and started to walk away from this very long line that took since the am to form. I was making my way to the exit, but then I saw a friend that was in line, luckily I snuck right in and picked up an ipad 32gb card from one of the sales people. I was in line for 30 mins thanks to a friend.

  • Fangs808

    I live in Hawaii and due to the evacuation from the Japan Tsunami hitting us the lines at the Apple store were very minimal. The store didn’t open til about 1pm being the their store is ocean front. I got into line at 230pm with no more then 50 people before me and had no problem with choosing the Ipad and cover I wanted. As news got out about how short our line was compared to large shopping centers, the Apple store did end up selling out.

  • Bob

    I went to the store to get an Ipad for the first time ever. I have never been to a new apple launch before so I had no idea that I needed to be there like a day early. We got there and they had already sold out. This was at about 5:15. They told us they would be getting more probably today and we could come back. We went back and were 38th in line thinking we would get one, only to wait an hour and a half to learn they only received 10 today. Overall a very frustrating experience and really makes me lose my liking of Apple.

  • N1369e

    i went to Best buy at 3:00 to get a ticket and was told they changed the time to 4:30. I left and came back at 6:30 to find they were promised 50 and got 15. I’ll wait now until they work out the bugs before I get a 2.

  • N1369e

    I’m not standing in line if they give it to me

  • Anonymous

    I tried best buy first thinking it would be easier and have shorter lines but they were already sold out at 5:00. So I went down the street to the apple store and waited in line. The staff was very helpful and gave frequent updates as to what was left to the overflow line. A bit further down the line they handed out tickets to customers for the model they wanted. The whole thing only took about 90 minutes, and was pretty painless. And Starbucks was giving out free drinks to everyone in line.

  • cjc

    I showed up at the Cherry Creek Mall in Denver, Colorado at 1:30 and the line was about 70 long with the first person being in a wheel chair. By the time 5 PM came, there were hundreds behind us. They had about 60 employees and the line moved fast when they opened up. A lot of people were grabbing 2 iPads which sucks for the people in line… I went with the same Black 64GB 3G AT&T WiFi model I already owned (iPad 1) and it’s GREAT! Shipped my old model out to an EBay buyer that afternoon. Also swapped the unlimited data plan from the iPad 1 o the iPad 2 without any problems. I considered trying Walmart, Target, Best Buy but I’m sure glad I didn’t after hearing the low quantities they received. This Apple store had piles so I’m not sure when/if they sold out.

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