iPad 2 goes on sale today: Buy online or wait in line?

Buying online you may have to wait weeks for the iPad 2 to ship. Waiting in line might mean spending hours in the rain.

Friday is iPad 2 launch day and that could mean bedlam for consumers eager to get their hands on Apple's new and improved tablet. At 4:00 AM EST, the iPad 2 became available for purchase online, but it carries an average shipping wait time of two to three weeks. It'll also be available at over 10,000 different retail locations starting at 5:00 PM EST.

So if you've already wrung out your mind questioning whether you should buy the iPad 2 or not, the only impediment holding you back now is where you want to buy it.

Buying Online

The availability and shipping speed on the Apple store Web site fluctuates constantly. One moment I saw that the 16GB Verizon 3G and Wi-Fi model would ship in 3 to 5 business days. The next moment: 2 to 3 weeks. If you're willing to gamble with Father Time, certain models change from 3 weeks to 1 week with the blink of an eye. Remember: buyers are limited to two units per order.

Or you could just bite the bullet, pre-order one, and be patient.

Buying in Person

But patience is overrated - you want it now. Thankfully the iPad 2 is available in many more stores than previous Apple product launches. Cross your fingers and head to one of these stores: Apple, AT&T, Best Buy, Target, Verizon Wireless, and Walmart. Over 10,000 extensions of these businesses might be carrying an iPad 2.

Note that you can only buy the 3G and Wi-Fi versions of the iPad 2 at AT&T and Verizon Wireless stores. After all, they want ink and a new contract, so make sure you've compared the carrier's data plans to see which works best for you.

If you're keen on the pomp and circumstance of a genuine Apple store launch, the iPad 2 will be available at 236 Apple stores starting at 5:00 PM EST today, according to an Apple spokesperson. Those stores will close two hours prior to launch to prepare for the onslaught.

Though some reporters suspect that lines outside of brick and mortar shops won't be as massive as they were when the original iPad launched just 11 months ago, others predict that the iPad 2 will sell 600,000 units this weekend, which could mean jammed-up parking lots and nervous excitement in lines.

My suggestion - and it's always worked for me during day-one Apple product launches - is heading to the boonies, remote towns in western Massachusetts, in my case, where a new tractor is far more important than a new iPad. You might be pleasantly surprised when the clerk says, "Oh yeah, we've got loads of those tablet thingies. Can't seem to get rid of ‘em."

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brennon Slattery

PC World (US online)
Topics: Apple, tablet PC, apple ipad, hardware systems, laptops, tablet PCs, tablets
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?