Apple’s latest tech innovation, the iPad is running up against an age-old economic maxim — the law of supply and demand. There appears to be a growing shortage of the high-tech device. Ordering online may be your best bet, but even then, consumers may have to wait three weeks or more for delivery.
A recent informal telephone survey by research firm Piper Jaffray found that Apple’s popular tablet computers were sold out in 37 stores, 13 stores were limited to Wi-Fi models and all 50 stores contacted were out of the sexy 3G model.
Best Buy stores claim to have them in stock at brick and mortar stores, but iPads are unavailable through online site, bestbuy.com.
Apple’s own online store, however, is still promising to deliver any iPad model, including the top-of-the-line, iPad 3G, in seven to ten days.
But after one consumer placed an order, the estimated delivery time changed to 15 to 20 days, according to Beatweek magazine.
Amazon.com may be the best bet. It’s selling them through a variety of third party retailers so supplies may be more available. Click on the button to the left for access to the Amazon web site.
An analyst at RBC Capital Markets says Apple is selling more than 200,000 iPads a week domestically, compared to 110,000 Macs per week. Other industry experts say the iPad is killing the whole netbook industry.
Another survey by the Boston Consulting Group claims that 29 percent of U.S. consumers surveyed plan to buy a tablet computer or e-book reader in the next year.
Of those surveyed, 90 percent plan to use it to surf the web browser. Globally, sales of tablet computers are expected to jump six-fold by 2014, according to the group.
This is typical Steve Jobs and Apple, and it’s way PC’s dominate the market today.
Apple has always been great at product innovation, but it’s marketing, production, licensing and sales savvy have always been lacking.
It’s hard to say how patient consumers will be, but Apple’s leaving the door open again to Microsoft and some other computer maker to step in and rip off the market.