I don’t know how long the lines were at your local Apple Store yesterday, but we are getting word that a lot of locations sold out of the most popular models very quickly. Taking a look at the online Apple Store, shipping dates for current purchases are now in the three to four week range. So what do you do if you want an iPad 2 now but a) didn’t get to the Apple Store soon enough, or b) thought you’d wait on ordering one online? Here are some tips that can either speed your acquisition of the latest shiny thing or at least calm your soul while you wait…
Crazy as it sounds, this sometimes works. If you happen to live or work near an Apple Store and you visit on a regular (several times a day) basis, you might be lucky enough to be in the store when a delivery of iPad 2s arrives. I’ve heard through the grapevine that the trip from truck to your hand can be rather quick if you’re in the right place at the right time. It should also help if the Apple Store staff becomes familiar with your smiling face through your frequent visits — they might go out of their way to get an iPad 2 for you just to stop you from being in the store all of the time.
Although we were initially thrilled to hear that other retail outlets would be carrying the iPad (including Best Buy, Target, Walmart, a few select Sam’s Club stores, and AT&T and Verizon stores), many of our readers reported seeing only a few iPad 2s at each location. Once again, make the rounds of your local big box stores that are carrying the iPad 2 on a regular basis and you may just luck out.
Many of the Apple Stores were limiting purchases of iPad 2s to two per person, and I talked to several buyers yesterday who said they were specifically buying one for personal use and another to sell on eBay. Although you’ll pay a premium to get the latest and greatest iPad a bit sooner, these outlets may be your best bet for a quick purchase.
If you want your iPad 2 now and have your heart set on a specific model, you may need to be more flexible in your choice to get one immediately. For example, one TUAW reader told me that he went to a local Apple Store this morning only to find that the only version available was the black 16 GB Verizon 3G model (he wanted a white 64 GB AT&T 3G version). Rather than not have an iPad 2 available for the enterprise development work he’s doing, he decided to go with a model that was less desirable to him.
Perhaps the best thing to do, unless you really need an iPad 2 for work (development, writing a book, etc…) is to wait. Let’s face it, is waiting three to four weeks going to really ruin your life, especially if you already own an original iPad? Even if you were waiting for an iPad 2 before joining the tablet world, is a month too long to wait? Sure, a lot of us stood in lines yesterday for these wonderful devices, but the events in Japan sure makes our desire for a shiny new thing seem stupid and insignificant. @maccruzin on Twitter donated $500 to the Red Cross for the people of Japan instead of buying an iPad 2.
The iPad 2 will be around for at least a year, and within a few weeks you’ll be able to walk into any Apple Store, Target, AT&T or Verizon Store, Best Buy, or Walmart (or the equivalent in other countries) and pick one up off the shelf with no wait. Be patient, and that patience will be rewarded.
Do you have any other ideas on how to get an iPad 2 a bit faster? If you have (legal) ideas that we haven’t discussed here, be sure to leave ’em in the comments.