iPad 2 availability easing at some stores

The ability to walk into an Apple Store and pick up an iPad 2 during regular business hours may be in the offing if current trends continue.

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.

An Apple store in Simi Valley, Calif., a suburb of Los Angeles, last week. The line extends to the vanishing point in the photo.
An Apple store in Simi Valley, Calif., a suburb of Los Angeles, last week. The line extends to the vanishing point in the photo. Brooke Crothers

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.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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