by Tom Kaneshige

I Want My iPad 2!

Mar 30, 2011
MobileSmall and Medium Business

Get to an Apple store early, stand in line, pray.

The iPad 2 isn’t your average impulse buy, yet I’m sure many people make an instant decision to get one. And when they do, they want it right now.

Well, good luck.

I can see you’re the same type of person as me. No way you would have stood in line for 11 hours on the iPad 2’s opening day, or ordered online in the wee morning hours before stock ran out and delivery times got pushed back weeks.

After standing in line for 11 hours, first iPad 2 customers wait anxiously moments before the doors open on Friday at 5 p.m. at the Walnut Creek, Calif., Apple Store.

You just figured you’d wait a couple of weeks, stroll into an Apple Store, and walk out with a shiny, new iPad 2. After all, you read recently that Radio Shack will be carrying the iPad 2. How bad can demand be if Apple is opening up distribution to another major retail chain?

Besides, the iPad 2 isn’t even a big improvement over the original iPad. Lighter and thinner is better, of course, but front and rear-facing cameras? I’m not going to hold up my iPad to take a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge. I’d look like an idiot tourist.

And, really, how often will you use FaceTime video chat? As an executive and his teenage daughter told me, “It’s kinda creepy.” I don’t even like to stare at people when I’m having a face-to-face conversation. (Hmm, maybe that’s why I’m lousy at Texas Hold ‘Em—too many tells.)

While Apple fans rushed to get the iPad 2, you just assumed the fervor would die down. Isn’t all this launch hoopla simply brilliant marketing aimed at a few hyper-vocal geeks? Heck, there wasn’t even a line at most Apple stores for the debut of the Verizon iPhone 4.

More than two weeks have passed since the iPad 2 hit Apple stores, and lines are still forming. Only this time there is no guarantee you’ll get one even if you try. You’ll have to put in your time at the mere chance of scoring an iPad 2. Here’s how it plays out at one Apple store.

1. The Apple Store in Walnut Creek, Calif., a shopping mecca 30 miles east of San Francisco, opens at 10 a.m. on weekdays—or does it? If the Apple store receives a shipment of iPads in the morning, it will open at 9 a.m. Don’t bother calling ahead of time because Apple store employees won’t know about iPad shipments until they come to work.

2. This means you’ll have to get in line before 9 a.m. on the hope that the store has received a shipment of iPad models that you want. Even if the stars align and a shipment has made its way to the store, you’ll have to be close to the front of the line to be issued a claim ticket to get your iPad 2. An Apple store employee told me that the number of units in a shipment varies greatly.

3. If you’re unlucky, there’s always tomorrow morning.

Tom Kaneshige covers Apple and Networking for Follow Tom on Twitter @kaneshige. Follow everything from on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Tom at