During Apple’s developer conference earlier this month, Steve Jobs revealed that 2 million iPads have been sold in the two months since the product launched, which means that someone buys an iPad every three seconds. That’s a startling accomplishment for Apple (Stock Quote: AAPL) but it is also problematic because the iPad is selling faster than stores can stock them.
In April, Best Buy (Stock Quote: BBY) announced that it had sold out of iPads in every one of its national stores. The next month, Apple revealed that it too had sold out of the iPad 3G in nearly all of its own retail stores, and as of a few weeks ago, analysts claimed that three quarters of all Apple stores remain sold out of all iPad models.
With all of that in mind, the simplest solution to get an iPad is just to order one through Apple’s Web site, which promises to ship all models within 7-10 business days. However, if you desperately want to get your hands on one now, but can’t find a store near you that has the iPad in stock, there may be another option.
Greg Spielberg recently wrote on Bundle.com about a trick that a friend of his used to score an iPad from an Apple store that said it was out of stock. “He said he was leaving for Italy in the next half-hour and that he needed the iPad for business. The Apple employee said, ‘For business?’ My friend said yes. The employee went to the back room and procured one from what my friend calls, ‘a secret stash.’ All my friend had to do was provide a business e-mail address and mailing address and voila.”
Now, officially, Apple has said they don’t have any such ‘secret stash’ of iPads available for business use, but this method may still be worth a try. After all, it would only take a few seconds of your time and unless you’re unemployed (in which case you probably don’t want to be spending tons of money on an iPad anyway), chances are you have a business address or e-mail that you can provide. And the idea of needing something “for business” is sufficiently vague that if you use it to do a little research for work, you can get away with saying this without having a guilty conscience.
For those who you who have no interest in buying an iPad, this could also prove to be a useful tactic when the new iPhone 4 goes on sale, especially considering that the device has already sold out in presale. When it comes to new Apple gadgets, it pays to be creative.
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