The arrival of the iPad: What to expect

The arrival of the iPad: What to expect

Summary: It's iPad Eve. If you don't have yours, will you get one? If you do, what will you do first?

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TOPICS: iPad, Apple, Tablets
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Special Report: Apple iPad Long lines.

If you haven't pre-ordered an Apple iPad and plan to roll the dice on picking one up this weekend, that's what you should expect. Long lines and maybe even some disappointment.

The lines outside Apple's retail stores for the launch of high-profile products such as the iPhone historically have been painfully long and there's no reason to expect the launch of the iPad to be any different. As for the availability at Best Buy stores, the buzz is that only select stores will have them and, of those, there will be a limited number available for purchase. The magic number buzzing through blogs is 15 per store. There are also some Apple Specialty Stores, independent dealers of Apple products, expected to have some on-hand, as well. Find a store near you on Apple's reseller site.

Also see: The Apple iPad buying decision: Your use case will vary

For those who do manage get their hands on one, there should be no shortage of things you can do with it right out of the gate. Apple has already pulled back the curtain on the iPad App store in iTunes, where's there are some 2,300 apps ready to go, including Netflix, eBay, Scrabble, as well as newspaper and TV content.

As far the weekend goes, analysts said the demand could outpace the company's expectations. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster forecasts sales of 200,000 to 300,000 while RBC Capital's Mike Abramsky estimates 300,000 to 400,000. Abramsky is pretty bullish on sales for the full quarter, as well as the first year, forecasting 900,000 and 5 million, respectively, Munster is a bit more conservative, calling fort 900,000 through the quarter and 2.7 million units for the year.

In his research note to analysts, Munster acknowledges that recent signs of greater-than-expected demand may prove his estimates wrong but that he still sees 2011 as the product's breakout year, with 8 million units expected to sell next year. In terms of short-term demand, Munster writes that he believes Apple will sell every iPad it has but that any supply concerns will be short-lived. He writes:

While it is difficult to determine, we believe early indications suggest that initial demand is stronger than the company expected and/or supply issues have slightly constrained availability for the launch. When Apple began taking pre-orders customers could pre-order for home delivery on April 3 or in-store pickup on April 3. A week before the launch (on March 27) the company pushed back the shipping date to April 12 and ended the in-store reservation program for the launch. And in preparation for the launch, on March 31 Apple retail stores began calling those with iPad pickup reservations to confirm the reservation. We believe these signs indicate that initial demand for iPads was stronger than the company expected, and/or minor supply issues have slightly constrained availability for the launch. We believe the supply constraints are minor because the new ship date is not a significant delay. Ultimately, both strong demand and somewhat constrained supply appear to be resulting in the fact that Apple is selling every iPad it can build.

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Topics: iPad, Apple, Tablets

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117 comments
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  • What to expect...

    ...endless amounts of free publicity from the usual suspects.
    Sleeper Service
    • Another iPad article, ZDNet?

      The iPad is probably the most over-hyped device in history. It's sad that all the dying print outlets think it's their savior from financial ruin. Unfortunately for them, only one human rose from the dead and it wasn't Steve Jobs. Sam Diaz has never even held the device and is already certain it is incredible. He joins Walt Mossberg, David Pogue, and Ed Baig as one of the most blatant sycophants of the Cult of Apple. The never-ending blitz of positive coverage is nothing short of disgusting.
      NicoToscani
      • I love the BS line they keep throwing out

        [i]recent signs of greater-than-expected demand[/i]

        Honestly, Apple can put together a device like this, line up the developers, setup the distribution, getting it right on everything down to when it arrives, but yet they [b]keep[/b] missing on how many they're going to sell?

        Please stop insulting people's intelligence, OK? We all know of the marketing trick of "surprisingly out of stock"
        John Zern
        • Could be marketing trick...

          Or it could be Jobs were reading ZDNet's negative coverage and comments on how it was nothing more than a big iPod Touch, and a big fail. No Flash, no usb, no porn, tighter control than North Korea, Jobs is the new scary big brother. fail! fail! fail!

          So with such great insights, they decided to scale back production. ;-)

          In all seriousness - a company can't really tell how well their product will do until it's introduced or released. Better to be cautious initially then ramp up production than having a large stockpile not selling, sitting in some warehouse. Part marketing? sure?
          dave95.
        • Please terminate rectal examination and learn to read

          You say you "love the BS line they keep throwing out" yet clearly have
          no understanding of just in time production. Apple have a 7 day
          inventory on all products. The shortest in any industry surveyed.

          Whilst they could order a lot higher quantity than their own research
          indicates they will sell, that could end up costing them in the short
          term by having to pay their manufacturers a lot more for higher
          production capacity than will be needed mid product cycle.

          And in the medium term - if for instance a fault was discovered [that
          only manifested itself in production models in user situations], in the
          early releases, which would mean they have to scrap inventory.

          The bottom line is best protected by close attention to margins at every
          stage in the process.

          But these are only two very sensible, very credible reasons for there
          being a genuine stock shortage at this very early stage at the very
          beginning of the product cycle of a brand new product.

          Expect the same thing to happen after a particularly busy period in
          sales, at the end of a model's production cycle, and at the beginning of
          another new product cycle.

          Not everything Apple does is marketing - as you seem to understand
          the term to mean. One very smart way to control the perceived value of
          any product is to protect it from ending up as a third party retailer's
          discounted remaindered stock, by rationing distribution at the end of a
          product cycle.

          Why? Because that devalues the brand image. Now, that IS marketing,
          but not in the way you portrayed it, as: "the BS line they keep throwing
          out" or a "trick".

          Also, keeping stock back for direct [Apple Store] sales, and for
          replacement purposes, means shorter customer waiting, and therefore
          fewer disappointed customers. It protects margins, and also saves
          Apple money by avoiding having to offer higher spec models in
          replacement situations.

          Try thinking beyond the donkey obvious, ask more questions and do
          some research - like read a good book by Leander Kahney, before
          commenting.
          Graham Ellison
          • Dear Friend.

            You sound like you have just done an economics class and the lecturer has done his bit on JIT production.

            Oh, and finally before you insult other people and expect everyone to "think" you're right because you tell people you are, care to explain how Apples glorious "JIT" model fell completely on its face with regards to the "yellow" screen issues?

            No, because they haven't covered that in class yet. Have they little boy.
            Bozzer
          • Idiot - Pay attention

            I'm 51 years old and been in business since I was 22. Therefore you can
            count on this being solid advice direct from an industry professional.

            And the closest I come to the class room these days, is when Invited to
            lecture at universities, something I don't have the patience for, because
            I'm too busy.

            Did you read the book I told you to get?
            Graham Ellison
        • Nintendo Is A Pro At This

          "Oh, we're limited on our stock of Wiis due to such incredible consumer demand!!!"...

          Translation:

          "We're limiting the number we are manufacturing to create a media frenzy on a device that uses graphic technology from the early part of the last decade."
          itanalyst2@...
          • Did you read anything I wrote?

            I have to confess I know nothing of Nintendo as a company. I actually
            consider them to be rather irrelevant, and really can't be bothered to
            research them.

            They make pretensions towards offering educational options, but their
            products are rather childish imo, and have little scope for scalability
            beyond play. Yet their ads show adult couples using their consoles -
            which totally defies credibility. The wi may have some merit as a fitness
            device for people who don't get bored easily.

            But one thing we can pretty much take for granted, since they come from
            the land of Toyota, they too understand just in time production.
            Graham Ellison
          • Childish.

            I'm guessing your about 14-15 and spoiled to the core. You're very petulant.

            What gives it away is your disdain for Nintendo. Give that they have just wiped the floor with Microsoft and Sony and their DS is still the best selling handheld you can hardly class them as "irrelevant".

            What is more worrying if know "nothing about them" then you have no right to stamp your little feet that the previous poster "didn't read anything you wrote". If you know nothing about them then you have no idea if his point is valid or not. Therefore you have proven that what you write is basically drivel and trash.

            A word of advice, no-one cares on the Internet how much you stamp your spoiled little feet. You certainly will not get any attention with an attitude like yours.

            And if your not 14-15 years then please, for the love of, grow up.

            PS, stop going on about JIT production. Anyone who has worked for a living is well aware of it. You know my mid day sandwiches were done on a JIT basis. I made them in morning from items in my fridge. I made them just in time to leave me enough time to travel to work and not to be late. When my "baskets" of sandwich components I buy just the right amount. No doubt as does everyone else. Well, apart from those who has mummy make theirs.
            Bozzer
          • Perhaps you should have read his posts a couple back

            He said he was 51 and lectures this kind of stuff occasionally. Not
            everyone who posts here is stuck in their parents basement.
            jgpmolloy
      • That wasn't me

        To set the record straight: I never called the iPad incredible. In fact, my earliest impressions - from when it was first announced - were less than enthusiastic. I will not be part of the mob running out to buy one this weekend.

        Yes, I am a Mac fan - but I am not yet sold on this device. Therefore, I am not "already certain it is incredible."
        SamDiaz
        • not yet sold on this device.

          Good Post Sam! You are correct, and I agree with you. Some of the things that I have against buying this thing (or any other tablets that are designed this way) is the fact that it doesn't have any inputs (other than the possibility of a docking station at an additional cost), and this means this thing is nothing but a way Apple sells you EVERYTHING, and you have NO way of going outside their little family of down-loadable software for applications! YOU can't even design your own and use it!
          That makes the price for the ipad (IF you take time to think it through, and not get taken in by the hype that it's a game changing device, it isn't!) an expensive ipod touch, locked in to a revenue stream producing process for Apple, and WAYYyyy out of line with a better equipped netbook or even their own ultra thin laptop! I'm sorry, but I like to be able to go buy software titles that I want to use, I want HD quality video that I wouldn't be getting, and I want connectivity to whatever monitor; keyboard; or mouse that I have! You DO realize that if you loose your WiFi connection, the thing is at the mercy of whatever applications you have downloaded and paid for? Then you have no external keyboard to type on, and these OSD keyboards are notoriously famous for mistyping and repeating letters that weren't pressed!?
          One of the things that I detest about touch screen OS's such as the ipad, and even My Palm-Pre, is the lack of true mouse controls when on the internet! There is NO right click when I want to be able to "view page in a new tab"! I have to wait for it to load in the same page, which means that if I accidentally click the WRONG link (or it perceives that I clicked a link instead of trying to scroll down the current page), I have to wait for it to go back to where I was, which invariably starts at the top of the page, and NOT where I was on it!
          So You are wise to think it thoroughly through! I have! It's not worth $200.00 Much less up to $800.00 fully 3G! I can buy MORE than one Netbook or actually a really good equipped laptop for that!
          barefoot1976
          • You people crack me up.

            "YOU can't even design your own and use it!"

            Actually, I can, but clearly you would not know what to do with the free developer software that Apple provides for all its platforms.

            You people crack me up. The Palm-Pre! Ha!
            kenift
          • OK, you can and we are impressed

            Other than putting other posters down, what exactly was your point? Are you so small you need to step on others to feel like somebody?

            Clearly you are not all that smart.
            Economister
          • I'm not...

            Impressed that is! The Developer tools are available, But the device won't vette apps [b]WITHOUT[/b] going through process! WHY? Because Jobs and Co. Don't allow unapproved apps on the system! Can it be circumvented? Probably. BUT doing so violates the "usage" clause of the License, and therefore is (at least in the eyes of Jobs) illegal! What you have to realize is that with the iphone; Ipods; and this new ipad, you don't really 'own' it, you bought the device to use it on their system! WITH THEIR APPROVED STUFF ONLY!! Compare that with say my HP laptop that I can go to even Walmart and purchase a software title that DOESN'T have to be approved by Microsoft to load on it! So if you DO create an app that you'd like to use, you either have to circumvent the system, OR get Jobs to approve it for the system. If Jobs feels that it conflicts with an existing app that might interrupt his revenue stream, no approval!

            And YES, I have a Pre that I like very much! The WebOS I find is Sooo much better than the iphone which I didn't like! Now that Verizon is selling it, I hope that they will recover from lack of sales, as it works worlds better than iphone's OS, and is constantly improving! The new Camcorder feature of the latest upgrade has stunningly better quality than not ONLY the iphone, but most other smart-phones as well! So the fact that your an Apple fanboi means nothing to this discussion. The fact that I have been doing this for nearly 30 years does! Have a nice day--boi!
            barefoot1976
          • @barefoot1976: Are you for real?

            Either you misposted or you have completely lost your mind. I bet I could get dozens of people here to testify that I am NOT an Apple fanboy.

            So either your post was meant for kenift in which case you are forgiven or you are a total idiot, 30 years experience or not.
            Economister
          • Holds up a mirror

            See anything familiar there? Probably not, too conceited to be able to look properly.
            Bozzer
          • @Bozzer: Charming you are

            Well, I was going to let you know just what I think of you, but instead I decided to put your other three charming posts in one place, here, for the world to see what an a$$ you are.

            I could never do justice to your personality as well as you do entirely without any help. Nice going. :-) Here you go:


            Dear Friend.
            You sound like you have just done an economics class and the lecturer has done his bit on JIT production.

            Oh, and finally before you insult other people and expect everyone to "think" you're right because you tell people you are, care to explain how Apples glorious "JIT" model fell completely on its face with regards to the "yellow" screen issues?

            No, because they haven't covered that in class yet. Have they little boy.




            Childish.
            I'm guessing your about 14-15 and spoiled to the core. You're very petulant.

            What gives it away is your disdain for Nintendo. Give that they have just wiped the floor with Microsoft and Sony and their DS is still the best selling handheld you can hardly class them as "irrelevant".

            What is more worrying if know "nothing about them" then you have no right to stamp your little feet that the previous poster "didn't read anything you wrote". If you know nothing about them then you have no idea if his point is valid or not. Therefore you have proven that what you write is basically drivel and trash.

            A word of advice, no-one cares on the Internet how much you stamp your spoiled little feet. You certainly will not get any attention with an attitude like yours.

            And if your not 14-15 years then please, for the love of, grow up.

            PS, stop going on about JIT production. Anyone who has worked for a living is well aware of it. You know my mid day sandwiches were done on a JIT basis. I made them in morning from items in my fridge. I made them just in time to leave me enough time to travel to work and not to be late. When my "baskets" of sandwich components I buy just the right amount. No doubt as does everyone else. Well, apart from those who has mummy make theirs.




            And you sir
            Are the culprit why Linux will never prosper. Its users are abhorrent anti-social misfits with an inferiority complex.
            Economister
          • Guilty as charged sir, I am indeed facetious

            Yes, I admit being facetious, insulting, boorish. Attention seeking, antagonistic and rude. There is no need to link to my posts as I was well aware that is what I was being when I wrote them. I make no attempt to shy away from that fact.

            Thus I deduce from your post title you were being ironic. However given your own postings and lack of insight then I can safely assume you actually have little understanding of the meaning of the word, only its functionality.

            I admit to being rude, I am not ashamed of being this way. If anything I rather like being this way, it often comforts me in the evening as I concoct ingenious ways to kill small cute furry animals (after all, no-one minds if you kill ugly slimy animals).

            So to show no malice has occurred I offer you this olive branch that if you need any advice on how come to terms with who you are and are looking to accept what you see in the mirror then I am only a click away. Until that time I suggest you re-read your own posts before you "add your opinion" and if you're happy being rude then fire away. Whatever you do, don't try and deny it when pulled up about it, you're only lying to yourself. Perhaps even worse don't attempt to shame a poster for being the same who has no shame to begin with, that is a path to failure. No doubt a common path to you, I am surprised you have not got bored of it yet, I guess some people must like the familiarity.

            Thanks for the fame and taking the time to copy and paste my posts. You have fanned my ego aplenty.

            :)
            Bozzer