The Apple iPad is undoubtedly the hottest tech device on the market these days, with sales forecasts from experts completely smashed in the wake of high consumer demand. In the United States, the Wi-Fi and the 3G models have been selling like hotcakes at Apple Stores around the country.
AppleInsider recently reported that analyst Gene Munster conducted a check of 50 Apple retail stores and found that the iPad 3G remains completely sold out in the United States just seven days from the iPad 3G’s launch in international markets. Of the 50 stores that he was in touch with, 74% were sold out of all models of the iPad, with the Wi-Fi model available in 26% of stores. This story is a familiar one, as it is the same many people will tell you about the iPad ever since the 3G edition was released.
Because of the very limited supply, Apple’s stores have started offering customers the chance to be placed on a waiting list, which means that the store will hold an iPad when it arrives for a 24-hour period. One Apple store representative told Munster that customers who enlist in the notification system usually have a four to seven-day wait to get a call back. Currently, the online Apple Store is stating a seven to 10-day wait time.
Although many are applauding Apple for creating such a huge demand for its newest tech toy, Munster went on to say that the limited supply and Apple’s inability to meet demand might mean that some near-term Wall Street projections will be getting ahead of what Apple is able to sell.
When the iPad 3G first went on sale, one-million units were sold in just 28 days. Even Apple’s management has gone on the record stating that they were caught off-guard by the high demand from the start of the device’s life on store shelves. The high demand in the United States forced Apple to move the international launch of the iPad to Friday, May 28th. Both the Wi-Fi and the 3G models will be released to customers in nine different countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the U.K., and Japan. There are nine more countries slated to receive iPads at a date yet to be determined.
One noteworthy story about the iPad involves Diane Campbell from Palo Alto, California (which is not far from Apple’s headquarters), who wanted to buy an iPad. Campbell is disabled and living on a fixed income. Campbell wanted to buy her first computer, but wanted to wait for the iPad. It was small, mobile, and perfect for her special needs
Little by little, Campbell saved over a long period of time to purchase the device. When she took her $600 to the counter at the Apple store, the clerk refused to sell her an iPad because of an Apple policy against accepting cash for iPads. Obviously, she was devastated and the negative PR that ensued against Apple raged over airwaves for days.
Because of the huge backlash, Apple decided to reverse its decision to make the device only available for purchase via credit card. Now, customers can use cash to buy the iPad as long as they set up their Apple account at the store. Apple Senior Vice President Ron Johnson told ABC that Campbell was going to receive a free iPad for her troubles.
The idea behind the no cash policy was to deter buyers from purchasing large quantities of iPads in the United States and then selling them on the black market in foreign countries.