iPad 2 ship times lengthen, in-store stock remains low

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If you didn’t already order your iPad 2, you may have to wait a while. Ship times from the online Apple Store—which already slipped from 3 to 5 days to 2 to 3 weeks—have slipped again, this time to 4 to 5 weeks.

Prefer brick-and-mortar stores? I called three New Jersey Apple Stores. Each store gave the same answer when I asked about iPad 2 stock: zilch, with little information on when to expect more. One store’s representative suggested that I check in again tomorrow, but that he couldn’t say definitively whether more iPads would arrive by then. Macworld staffers got similar reports from stores in Illinois and Massachusetts—with one exception. A representative from the Michigan Avenue store in Chicago reported that it had received a “limited supply” of new iPads, but that she doubted there were enough to satisfy the line that had already formed around the block by 8:30 a.m. local time. New York's Fifth Avenue store answered the phone with a deflating "all sold out."

That lack of inventory seems to run counter to a report Monday from a less-than-tactfully-named Apple blog, which claimed that Apple retail stores would open an hour early on Tuesday morning to sell off newly-arrived shipments of the iPad. The blog in question has backed off that claim a bit in subsequent updates Tuesday.

Meanwhile, folks who ordered their iPads online on March 11 started receiving those iPads this week. My own iPad 2 arrived on March 15 after a trip from China to Hong Kong to Alaska to New Jersey.

Apple hasn’t yet released any sales numbers for the iPad 2, though the company did tell The Loop that sales thus far were “amazing.”

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