Supply finally seems to be catching up with demand in Apple’s online store. Shipping times for the new iPad have dropped from 1-2 weeks down to 5-7 days. It’s still not overnight shipping, but it’s a much more bearable window of time.
When the iPad 2 launched last year Apple had serious trouble with demand. Would-be iPad customers lined up at Apple stores day after day in hopes of getting hold of one of a handful of iPads that came into stores with each shipment. This time around, Apple seems to have done things a little differently. It seems that more new iPads were allocated for the tablet’s in-store launch than for online pre-order. That, of course, was great news for those who showed up at Apple stores on the morning of March 16th: there were plenty of iPads in stock to meet launch day demand.
When the iPad was unveiled on March 7th, it immediately went up for pre-order in Apple’s online store. Those who pre-ordered quickly were guaranteed that their tablet would arrive by March 16th. Within just two days, though, the initial pre-order supply was exhausted and shipping times had begun to slip to March 19th. By the time the iPad launched, shipping times in the online store were up to 2-3 weeks.
A few days after the iPad hit stores, though, online availability improved, and shipping times fell from 2-3 weeks to 1-2 weeks. Today, just over a month after the iPad hit stores, availability has improved again.
With luck, this means that shipping times will drop further fairly soon. There’s no way to tell when that might be, but at some point – sooner rather than later – the iPad will reach the 24-hour shipping point that most Apple products currently enjoy.