Saturday, March 12, 2011

Release: iPad 2

On Friday March 11, Apple's iPad 2 will become available for purchase online and in retail stores. Early trade-in activity surrounding the original iPad suggests that that the iPad 2 will be in high demand.

As with last year's original iPad and the iPhone 4, we anticipate crowds and long lines at various Apple retail stores across the United States. Are you interested in buying an iPad 2 this weekend? Here's what you need to know.

Online or in-store

With the original iPad and the iPhone 4, Apple allowed individuals to place pre-orders online or to reserve a device for in-store pickup. With iPad 2, Apple is eschewing the pre-order game.
Instead, the iPad 2 will be available via at some point early Friday, and in retail stores starting at 5:00pm. Online reports indicate that sales will start at 12:01am PST on March 11, 2011. East coast buyers, set your clocks for 3am.

At, users can choose between white or black variants in Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + 3G. Users can select either Verizon or AT&T for their Wi-Fi + 3G unit.
Apple promises "fast, free shipping," which indicates they are using 2-day Fed Ex or UPS. Depending on when an order goes through, it's possible users could get units on Monday March 14, 2011.

We'll be realistic and expect that most users who place an order on Friday will receive their packages on Tuesday March 15, 2011. Like Caesar, you'll need to watch for the Ides of March.

Apple retail stores will begin selling the iPad 2 at 5:00pm. Typically, Apple shuts down its stores for a few hours prior to launch in order to get signage, inventory and staff in place.
Lines may start at some outdoor Apple stores as early as Friday morning (if not Thursday night), but indoor mall locations may start later, depending on mall policies and general shopping traffic.

Models, colors, carriers

There are eighteen different iPad 2 units: the nine listed below, available in either black or white.

-- iPad 2 16GB Wi-Fi: $499.00
-- iPad 2 32GB Wi-Fi: $599.00
-- iPad 2 64GB Wi-Fi: $699.00
-- iPad 2 16GB Wi-Fi+3G Verizon: $629.00
-- iPad 2 32GB Wi-Fi+3G Verizon: $729.00
-- iPad 2 64GB Wi-Fi+3G Verizon: $829.00
-- iPad 2 16GB Wi-Fi+3G AT&T: $629.00
-- iPad 2 32GB Wi-Fi+3G AT&T: $729.00
-- iPad 2 64GB Wi-Fi+3G AT&T: $829.00

Unlike the white iPhone 4 debacle, Apple promises that white iPad 2 units will be available on launch day. It's really anyone's guess as to the breakdown between color choices.
Apple retail stores will likely have the most white units in-stock, with retailers like Best Buy, Target and Walmart carrying mostly black units.


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