iPad 2 faces stock shortages

US customers will have to wait up to a month before they can purchase the highly anticipated Apple iPad 2, indicating the Australian launch will be marred by similar stock shortage issues.


Reports indicate US Apple stores sold out within minutes of opening. Telsyte research director Foad Fadaghi says the situation is likely to occur again when the iPad 2 launches in Australia on March 25.


“It’s quite likely there will be people who line up on the first day, and demand will outstrip supply. That’s quite normal,” he says.


The original iPad sold hundreds of thousands of units within its first weekend. While there are no sales figures available yet for the new version, it’s looking likely the iPad 2 will attract the same numbers.


Some have accused Apple of artificially restricting its supply chain in order to build up demand, but Fadaghi doesn’t believe that’s the case.


“This is a product that needs to be manufactured and administered to a lot of different locations. It’s understandable if there are shortages, especially right after the initial launch,” Fadaghi says.


“You simply can’t launch everything at once in every location and have an abundance of stock. Apple has also been very quick to bring this out to market, so delays are understandable.”


Piper Jaffray & Co analyst Gene Munster told the Wall Street Journal that a survey of 200 people who bought the iPad 2 found most did not own the previous version.


Despite the delays, reception to the device has been positive. Tech trades have praised the gadget’s faster speed, although point out it is not necessarily a revolution in design but more of a transitionary step to a future iPad model.


There have been some technical malfunctions – some users have reported their screens being faded in some areas – but most of the units appear to be operating normally.


The iPad 2 sports a thinner design, two cameras, a faster CPU and an optional cover that snaps on the front of the iPad like a magnet.


The new gadget features an A5 processor, which Apple says is twice as fast as the original iPad, along with graphics nine times as fast.


The new built-in gyroscope will almost certainly be welcomed by game designers, along with the thinner design, which is only 8.8mm thick.


Speaking at the launch of the iPad 2, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said the company has sold more than 15 million iPads and more than 100 million iPhones.


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