Now that the iPad 2 has been sold out on launch weekend, and checks to several Apple-owned retail stores in the San Francisco, California Bay Area location reveal that all stocks were depleted as of Monday afternoon, Apple store employees are advising potential iPad 2 buyers to come early on Tuesday. A few stores said that they are expecting new shipments to arrive daily, but some smaller stores, such as the one I had inquired at in Los Gatos, California, could be overhead telling customers that it doesn’t know if it would get in daily shipments of Apple’s popular tablet. In spite of that, Los Gatos and other Apple store employees can be heard telling would-be buyers to line up early as iPad 2s are sold on a ‘first-come, first-served basis.’
There are now several reports indicating that select Apple retail locations will be opening one hour earlier to accommodate the growing demand for the tablet. As most Apple stores open at 10 AM on Tuesday, that would push the opening time to 9 AM at certain retail stores.
While inventory at local stores are coming in limited supplies on a daily or near-daily basis, Apple’s stock seems constrained at this point as demand far exceeds supply. The Apple store online website is noting that customers who ordered on the Internet can now expect the coveted tablet to ship in 3-4 weeks.
For now, the most daily inventory levels would probably be found at local Apple retail stores. Though Best Buy, Target, Sam’s Club, and Walmart are all selling iPad 2s, in addition to AT&T and Verizon Wireless retail stores, Apple retail stores are getting the most shipments in when compared to third-party retailers and partners. If you live near an Apple store and would rather get the tablet sooner rather than later, your best bet is to wait in line. However, if you prefer not to wait, another option would be to put down a $100 deposit at Best Buy, which would net you a $100 gift card at the retailer for a reservation at that retailer.