The demand for the new iPad has been “off the charts” according to an Apple spokesperson who spoke to USA Today. The device is in high demand as the spokesperson further iterated that the ‘quantity available for pre-order has been purchased’ meaning that there will now likely be lengthy shipping delays for those consumers who did not get their order in quick enough, and while Apple catches up with the demand.
This does not necessarily mean, however, that there will be no new iPads available at Apple Retail Stores on the launch day of March 16th. If the sales of the iPad 2 are anything to go by then Apple will have set aside a substantial amount of stock of the new iPad which will be destined to hit retail stores on March 16. However, there will be likely be very long lines if the stock levels are anything like they were last year and the demand for the device is just as high.
In addition, when the iPad 2 demand was at its highest, many consumers found that by visiting third party sellers such as Target or Best Buy, they could sometimes locate the device that they were looking for, simply due to the fact that many people headed straight for Apple Stores. Of course, third party sellers will also have limited stock which can sell out quickly.
Apple stressed, however, that the new iPad was still available to order online, although buyers should now not expect their delivery to take place in the first week of release.