Availability of the iPad 2 at Apple Stores appears to be easing a bit, as some stores in Southern California are not selling out of stock before the doors open.
At Apple stores on a typical day lines form as early as 3 a.m.--or earlier. In response, stores open early and pass out claim tickets to those in line. But there are typically more people in line than there are available claim tickets. So, stores sell out before the doors open for regular business.
For the first time on Tuesday morning, however, some stores in Los Angeles had enough inventory to sell an iPad to everyone in line then open their doors and still have stock to sell to walk-in customers. Two stores, one at The Grove in the Beverly Hills area of Los Angeles and another in Simi Valley, briefly had stock during regular business hours, according to salespeople at those two stores.
Alas, that doesn't mean that circumstances have changed for the chronically sold out iPad 2 everywhere in California. An Apple Store in San Francisco says it still sells out before doors open for regular business and that people were already in getting in line at around 2:30 p.m. PST on Tuesday for Wednesday sales, according to a store salesperson.
After international sales begin this Friday, we should have a better idea next week if this is a fluke or if supply is actually stabilizing.