Did Apple Deliberately Cause iPad 2 Shortfall ?

Posted on Mar 12 2011 - 6:54pm by Richard Sharp

Unless you have been living in a cave for the past few days you will have been unable to get away from the hype and excitement surrounding Apple’s iPad 2 launch in the US yesterday. Many bloggers speculated that Apple would fail to cause the same buzz and excitement as they did with the original iPad with many predicting it would flop – of course they were wrong with record queues that dwarfed last years iPad release.

In fact there were a lot of consumers that returned home without an iPad 2 yesterday, not because they weren’t impressed but because stores had simply run out of iPad 2’s to sell! Walt Mossberg, of the WSJ Tweeted: “My local Apple store in the DC burbs still has an iPad 2 line this morning, but just informed people they’re sold out”.

Why is there a shortfall?

There are two trains of thought here both of which are pretty viable. The first relates to a reported shortage of screens and the second an age old tactic of creating an artificial shortfall to keep consumers keen.

At the start of March a report suggested that Apple were struggling to source screens and other components for the iPad 2 and at the time people said it would delay the launch; obviously this didn’t happen but the shortfall could have contributed to the lack of devices in the shops. If this is the case one would argue that Apple has either planned poorly or brought the launch date forward to beat competitors to the punch.

However Apple may have planned this shortfall all along releasing just enough iPad 2’s to create a buzz amongst the tech community, its human nature to want something you can’t have which will result in online sales and iPad 2 waiting lists being far longer than last years. If this is the case then it’s a very clever, yet sneaky, tactic indeed.

Apple could of course be hedging their bets by simply judging initial demand and then fulfilling it over the next couple of weeks.

What can Apple learn from this? Do you think it’s a deliberate ploy, poor planning or are did they hedge their bets?

9 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. mit March 12, 2011 at 7:13 pm - Reply

    annoying. i am looking for flash on the internet anyway, so i might go ahead and wait for an android or playbook.

  2. Nate Ardle March 12, 2011 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    It could be that they are intentionally driving people to order them online, thus increasing their overall profit. Smart move if so. That's what I did. Can't find it in town, so ordered online, even with the long wait times.

    • gadgetsandgizmos March 12, 2011 at 10:19 pm - Reply

      I think a lot of people have done the same thing. Certainly a smart move.

  3. HappyFanboy March 12, 2011 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    Dont care. Mine has already shipped 🙂

    • gadgetsandgizmos March 12, 2011 at 10:23 pm - Reply

      Great news, any idea on the arrival date?

  4. DJ Spiess March 13, 2011 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    If your price is fixed (the price of the iPads does not fluctuate for Apple), then does it make sense to artificially drive up demand? I think it's likely they underestimated demand.

  5. jpear March 13, 2011 at 7:37 pm - Reply

    I waited 1.5 hrs at my local BB in Riverside, CA. wW #9 in line. After purchase of iPad2.. I was walking out of the store at 5:30 This device is "da bomb"! Local Target only had 5 iPad2's— all white, 16G, wi-fi only so everyone dropped out of line after being informed and went to BB

  6. Peeved March 13, 2011 at 11:43 pm - Reply

    Apple's tactics whether it be a shortfall a marketing strategy certainly is disappointing. Why would they launch a product that was obvious going to surpass the 1st product and provide only minimal inventory to all the retailers and distributors? Even the Apple stores did not have enough to meet demand. Duh Apple. Whatever you guys were trying to accomplish didn't make much sense. People were anticipating to have one on LAUNCH DAY. OMG, whatever!

  7. KelseyB March 16, 2011 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    Wish the Apple stores would eliminate their "the ipad2 is here!" automated message. I called two stores today and was played this message along with the news that I could walk out of the store with my ipad loaded and ready to use! What a disappointment.

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