Here’s Why There Are No iPad 2’s Left in Stock

While standing in line waiting for the iPad 2 at the Apple flagship store in Manhattan yesterday,  my colleague and I made a keen observation. Amongst the crowd waiting on the seemingly never ending line that wrapped around to Madison avenue and back, there were a myriad of people who just didn’t seem to fit in. Sure, there were the hipsters, the hardcore geeks, and many of the kind of people you would expect to be waiting for hours in the cold in order to ensure that they got an iPad 2 on the day of its release. But mixed in amongst the crowd there were also many folks who just didn’t seem like the type who would be waiting in line to buy an iPad 2 for themselves. Forget about them being the type to care about waiting in line for hours to get one. Something was definitely up… Later on that day our suspicions were more or less confirmed when we ran into a Russian gentleman who tried to buy our second 3G AT&T iPad off of us for a $200 premium. He explained to us that he is buying as many as possible to bring into Russia to sell.

Out of curiosity we listed our extra sealed iPad 2 on Craigslist to see what kind of offers and people we would attract. We listed it for $1100 and lo and behold on Saturday we received a second offer to purchase our iPad for $1050. This time it was yet another Russian entrepreneur. He admitted that he was also purchasing as many AT&T 3G iPads as possible to bring back to Moscow to sell. Of course, Verizon 3G iPads have less value overseas then their AT&T counterparts, because they can only work in the U.S.A. over 3G. However, AT&T’s iPads are unlocked and GSM, so they are compatible with most 3G GSM-based wireless networks worldwide. We were intrigued, and asked to hear more.

His tale of iPad 2 riches started at 6am on Friday, which is when he says he started waiting in line for the iPad 2. He explained that he had a total of “seven friends” waiting with him in line at the Apple flagship store, who each purchased iPad 2’s (specifically 3G AT&T iPad 2’s) for him. Hmmmm, so 8 x 2 = 16 iPads. He also said that afterward he waited in line to buy a second round. He then came back a third time with a disguise on (a baseball cap and glasses), and purchased a third round, and paid a guy in front of him in line $200 to get him another. Apparently he made all of his purchases from the flagship store. By the time he was ready to go for a 4th round, there were no 3G AT&T iPad 2’s left at any of the Apple NYC retail stores. So what to do? He told us he’ll be driving up north come March 25th for the Canadian launch to do the same thing all over again.

Our savvy Russian friend says that he isn’t making much off of selling these iPads in Russia, but we highly doubt that, especially after coming across a TUAW article from last year which talks about the original iPad going for over three thousand dollars on the gray market in Russia when it was first launched.

We’re certainly not saying that this is where all of the iPad 2’s went this weekend. Heck, you really can’t blame the Russians for ALL of the iPad 2’s around here not being in stock. After all, there were definitely a lot of legitimate Apple fans waiting on that line with us too. However it does seem that the iPad 2 might be Russia’s new version of the Fabergé egg.

Update 03/15/11: After reading online about rumors that some Apple stores were expecting in new iPad 2 shipments, early this morning, one of our reporters headed to the Apple store in SoHo  to try his luck at picking up one of those ever elusive iPad 2’s. He said that he arrived at around 6AM and noticed that there were about 30 other people ahead of him in line whom appeared to be Asian, and mostly seemed to be over the age of 50. He also noticed that some of them were carrying papers which listed what models they should purchase. He also said that the AT&T iPad 2’s sold out right away.


  1. Quiet troll. And I don’t consider them our “friends.” This is the Russians doing what the Russians do – sneaky crap. Hmm these are made in CA and I’m still waiting for my measely wifi only 16GB. Something about this just seems wrong. In Soviet Russia, iPad owns you!

  2. I don’t think they’re made in CA. Designed, yes. Made? Nope. Unfortunately, the screen issue is a mess. I picked one up yesterday that certainly bleeds light at the bottom of the screen and also has dead pixels. I’m not too concerned, though. Apple’s customer service is top-notch, so I’ll just trade this one in once the demand dies down a bit.

  3. “afterward,” not “afterword”
    “this is where” not “this is we’re”
    “Of” is unnecessary after “myriad”
    “lo and behold,” not “low and behold”
    “Of course,” not “Of-course”
    “$200 bucks” is redundant
    “It does seem,” not “it does seems”

    Nicely written.

  4. So sad.. the amount of people who just have to constantly correct other people. Get a life, seriously. Did you get his point? That is really all that matters, now get off your high horse.

  5. Guys, there really IS a problem here, in Russia. Almost 100% of the freshly released i* products come from the grey market (where people are eagerly awaiting them right from the US start), and when the product finally gets itself on the shelves (of the VARs with 2x price; there’s no such thing as the original apple store here), noone needs it – everybody already has bought it! The demand for the i* products is enormous – comparable to US/EU, I guess. This happened during the 1-gen iPhone release (which didn’t get to Russia officially), with the 3G, with the 4G (our local stores look like the real WTFs these days – posters of “buy 3Gs” everywhere and no official availability of 4G), and with the 1-gen iPad (which started to sell in Russia a couple of months ago for approx. +35% of the US prices). And now it happens with the 2-gen iPad, chances are things are going to be much worse this time. I have already heard of the $4k price tag for the first iPads delivered here. Still Apple does not consider Russia a priority market. I just don’t get it.
    — Alexander from Moscow

  6. Del — You’re a dick, correct or not. Start your own blog.

    Of course, Helena, a proof read, spell check or editor is a good idea if you’re going to publish for general public consensus.

  7. Normally I would feel the same way, but dang that’s a lot of mistakes! At some point you have to care or we’ll all be writing different languages and not be able to communicate!

  8. Learn to use your native language correctly before smearing foreigners.

    And what makes you think you can decide who is a “legitimate apple fan” and who is not? Enough of this bullshit attempt to build a stereotypical community around a fucking electronics brand. The fact that you judged those people based on their looks is pathetic.

    Dude has the money, dude buys anything he wants. There are truckloads of crap to write a blog post about regarding the latest Ipad but you had to post this crap about foreigners buying your precious gadgets instead of you, the chosen people.

  9. Dumb racist guy is incredibly ignorant about basic stuff like where Ipads are made. How very surprising.

  10. They need to limit thing to one per customer on launch week in the US. I don’t think it’s right that people should have to wait behind scalpers only to find the one they wanted is gone.

  11. I does thinks it ain’t gonna matter I spell my word rong. You frigging rocket scinetist will no xactalee wat I am spillin. Cuz God gave you uh ubundance of wisdom and wit dat he give u the rite to make us common folk fill like we dont not have any cents. I hope someday I have that rite.

  12. Wow! Can’t a girl make some mistakes once and a while! Most of those errors were caused by cra$$y auto-corrections, but yeh, I should have noticed before copying and pasting.

  13. If apple would produce enough and stop trying to get free advertising on TV to promote their product because of long lines and understocked items and actually tell people when they will restock maybe there wouldn’t be such a price gouge.

  14. Sounds like a fun game. Lemme try:

    “Of-course, Verizon 3G iPads have less value overseas then their”

    *** No need for hyphen. “Of course” is just fine.
    *** “then” should be “than”

    “We’re certainly not saying that this is we’re all of the iPad 2′s went this weekend.”

    *** second “we’re” should be “where”

    This is fun.

  15. Rather than being offended, another viewpoint is to be thankful. Most places have to pay someone good money to be a copy editor. In this case, you’re getting the service for absolutely free.

    Statistically, more professional articles will result in greater advertising click-through than less professional articles. Greater advertising click-through often results in more money. So, whether a portion of this money goes straight to you, or goes to an organization that uses this income as justification for giving you a soapbox, you should be happy that a complete stranger is helping you out without any expectation of compensation.

  16. I would’ve stood in line a two or three times for the Russians, the Chinese, or just about anybody if one of the ones purchased with their money was for me. I can’t afford it and yet I want it. So, if your “friends” contact you again, feel free to let them know I’ll do it….lol.

  17. Funny I guess I had better things to worry about other than here grammar and spelling because I flew right past it. I got it. Some people’s kids , I tell you what.

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