Apple's iPad 2 launch: Six themes to watch

Apple's iPad 2 launch: Six themes to watch

Summary: Apple's iPad 2 will be available at its stores and a bevy of retailers starting 5 p.m. local time. The iPad 2 is already available online, but shipping times have already gone up. Watch iPad supplies, store lines, sales, competitors, carrier and the enterprise impact.


Apple's iPad 2 will be available at its stores and a bevy of retailers starting 5 p.m. local time. The iPad 2 is already available online, but shipping times have already gone up.

Friday's festivities are just the beginning. Here are six topics to watch as the iPad 2 rolls out to the masses.

1. Supply: I checked iPad 2 shipping times early this morning and the projections were 3 to 5 days. Now shipping times are 2 to 3 weeks. The strong hint: The iPad 2 supply may be thinner than we think. Apple is well stocked  from most indications and distribution is way better than the first iPad 2 launch. However, you can't rule sell-outs by the end of the weekend.

2. Lines: Now that shipping times are now weeks online rest assured that the lines at Apple stores are going to get longer. This time Thursday the concept of swelling lines seemed silly. After all, supplies were ample. Now you almost have to go to a store if you want immediate iPad 2 gratification. This long line issue is a bigger deal for cities than suburbs where Apple stores, Targets, Wal-Marts and Best Buys will have iPad 2s. 3. How fast to 1 million units? The first iPad hit 1 million units in 28 days.  Given the distribution it's safe to bet that Apple will hit 1 million iPad 2s much faster. 14 days? 10 days? This weekend?

4. The competitive fallout. Apple's plan is pretty obvious. Crank out iPads, enjoy a technology and pricing advantage and grab more market share. Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes said in a research note:

We believe our estimates are likely conservative for Apple’s March quarter and CY11. Our recent checks in Asia point toward the supply chain readying  about 40 million iPad units this year, with production ramping up later in  2Q11 through year-end (our estimate for CY11 of 34 million units may be  conservative).

That quest for tablet domination is going to force some price cuts and commoditization at Apple rivals that have to get into the market. The Android tablet base is going to go commodity quickly. It's unclear how that scrum will turn out. Amazon has been repeatedly mentioned as a viable tablet rival. Jason Perlow argued that point months ago and now Forrester is on the Amazon as tablet competitor bandwagon.

5. The carrier breakdown. One of the more interesting items about the iPad 2 is that you'll be able to select Verizon or AT&T right away. This iPad launch features 3G right away---the first generation launched Wi-Fi only. The dynamics and sales breakdown between AT&T and Verizon are worth monitoring. Also: Verizon and AT&T iPad 2 data fees revealed, which will you choose?

6. The enterprise reception. The business part of the iPad 2 story isn't front and center today, but it will be shortly. We're told that Apple is lining up integrators to push the iPad in enterprise deployments. Should Apple team up with companies like Accenture, Deloitte, Cap Gemini and services giants like IBM the iPad will be hard to beat for business.


Topics: Tablets, Apple, Hardware, iPad, Laptops, Mobility

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  • Supply

    The iPad 2 supply may be thinner than we think? or everyone is rushing to buy these things... another Apple hit!

    Leaving work at 4 just to go see lines at my Apple store... always fun to talk to people.
    • RE: Apple's iPad 2 launch: Six themes to watch

      @Hasam1991 Yeah, I'm going to poke my nose into my local Best Buy to check out the lines, because 2-3 weeks is sort of silly. Would check an Apple Store, but the closest stores in every direction are in other states.
    • RE: Apple's iPad 2 launch: Six themes to watch

      @Hasam1991 <br>At around noon, there were 20 people waiting outside the Apple store in a local mall. Even though the store will not close till 3:00 p.m.(and reopening at 5 p.m.). These people are just waiting for an iPad 2, I do feel kind of sorry for a few of them, losing a days pay and still paying full price for the object. But this is the effect an Apple product has on people.
    • RE: Apple's iPad 2 launch: Six themes to watch

      Suspect it is thin by design.
      Makes for a nice headline. Feeds the obvious even for a low turnout.
  • RE: Apple's iPad 2 launch: Six themes to watch

    We have, within a short driving distance, two Super WalMarts, two Targets, two Best Buys, AND an Apple store. Going to try the Apple store first, see if there's lines this afternoon, if there is, we're off to the others.
  • More likely the demand is far heavier than anticipated

    but we can't put that spin on it. It would make the failure of the Xoom we've been cheerleading for weeks look even more pathetic than it is.
    • Or that Apple short supplied from the begining

      to make it look that way. After the slightly embassing Verizon iPhone launch (stores open early and extra employees added) only to have a 2-3 people line on average, maybe this is to get the hype up?

      They have done it before in the past, why not now?
      Will Farrell
      • RE: Apple's iPad 2 launch: Six themes to watch

        @Will Farrell Are long lines actually an indication of anything other than you didn't handle the launch properly? From what I hear the Verizon rollout what done mostly via pre-order.

        Here in the UK the rollout of the iPhone 4 didn't generate huge lines either, but given what's in people's pockets they shifted one heck of a lot of units! It is clear that it's the second or third largest demographic. The largest is iPhone 3GS, it's about tied with Blackberry.

        I'm not sure the huge queues tell you much (and we English love to queue!) about how a product is doing. Probably better to go sit in Starbucks and see what everyone has with them.
      • RE: Apple's iPad 2 launch: Six themes to watch

        @Will Farrell

        Apple isn't going to hold back on supplies for appearance sake.

        Actually I don't know of any produces who is willing to give up major sales to make it appear "demand" is more than it really is.
    • RE: Apple's iPad 2 launch: Six themes to watch

      Hang on. I think the iPad2 is the better choice for what I want from one of these devices. I do not cheer if competitors have indifferent success with their items. I actually hope everyone succeeds.

      Why, competitors will do forms that Apple will avoid. For someone who wants something bigger than a phone but still manageable with one hand, Apple isn't going to help them out, unless some competitor moves truckloads of 7-inchers. Flash, and I have drunk the Apple cider on the issue, may be a necessity for some and I'm glad that some manufacturer tests the depth of demand. If it is true and deep, Apple and Adobe are incentivized to bring the functionality without making the UX (battery life and heat, for instance) sub-optimal.

      As to this weekend, it could be a limit of stocking in order to report sell-outs. I don't like this idea.

      Tomorrow is out of Apple's control. A competitor may reveal the killer product at the killer price, and those who walk away from this weekend without the iPad they came to buy may never come back. I've never worked retail, but I got to figure that rule 0 is never get in the way of someone giving you money.

      I think it more likely that stock was put into Apple's stores because Apple wants to have one-on-one selling opportunities to move high margin accessories and apps.
  • RE: Apple's iPad 2 launch: Six themes to watch

    "the first generation launched Wi-Fi only"??? Larry, you don't know what you're talking about. All 6 models, 3 with 3G, launched on the same day.
    • Not true...

      @drfuchs@... The 3G models were a few weeks later.
      • RE: Apple's iPad 2 launch: Six themes to watch

        They were all announced at the same time (March 5, 2010). Initial orders were accepted at the same time (March 12, 2010). They did have different in-customers'-hands dates, however (April 3 vs. April 30), if that's what you're getting at. So, it depends on what you think "launch" means, I suppose.
  • The Demand is much bigger.

    There are lots of people who wait for the second generation before jumping in on a product. So, there is some added demand from those people.
    • I'll say that's probally the true reason

      Alot of people learned their leasson with the iPhone - After paying all that money for v1, v2 had far more enhancements for roughly the same price!
      Will Farrell
      • RE: Apple's iPad 2 launch: Six themes to watch

        @Will Farrell
        And that is true for just about every product there is. So your point is? I am sure that a smartphone that will ship next month might have a newer firmware rev, or a newer version of the OS. But they will have the same price. This is typical.
  • Services giants like IBM?!!

    Toto... we are not in Kansas anymore.

    2011 is definitely not like 1984...
  • Amazon's problem: Distribution

    The problem Amazon has as a potential Apple competitor is that it has very few friends in the retail world. It can sell plenty of stuff online, and it might even get its nose in the wireless guys' tents, but I'll bet Target, Wal-Mart and Best Buy consider Amazon their biggest competitor.
    Robert Hahn
    • RE: Apple's iPad 2 launch: Six themes to watch

      @Robert Hahn
      With the year by year increase for Amazon, these others would be foolish not too...
    • RE: Apple's iPad 2 launch: Six themes to watch

      @Robert Hahn
      Agreed! Other retailers are not going to cooperate or even be a coopetition to Amazon.

      Just my $0.02 worth