That’s what some of the pundits were claiming last week, anyway. Customers, not so much:
If you are hoping to score a new iPad from Apple, you might have to wait. Apple’s website shows March 19 as the earliest ship date for online orders of its popular tablet computer. And there is a limit of two per customer on the number of tablets that can preordered.
The shipping delays affect all models and price levels on preorders, according to the website.
“Customer response to the new iPad has been off the charts and the quantity available for pre-order has been purchased,” Apple said in a statement. “Customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date.”
Last year, Apple “disappointed” investors by selling not many more than four million iPad 2s in the first quarter of its availability, even though sales were constrained only by supply, and not by demand.
Apple CEO Tim Cook’s particular genius is managing the supply chain. So you can imagine, that when he announced a record-wide rollout of the new iPad, it’s because Apple had plenty of units stockpiled. And it’s a sure thing Apple’s manufacturing partners have their assembly lines expanded and working to max capacity.
Even so, it seems to have taken only a few days to blow through the stockpiles and two or three weeks worth of new ones coming off the lines. That doesn’t include the units Apple will have available at their retail stores — to long lines, undoubtedly. Then, to empty shelves.
This is a monster product launch.