With pre-orders unavailable, U.S. customers began lining up for the iPad 2 on Monday, March 7—four full days ahead of the tablet's launch date of 5:00 PM that Friday.
The line ups were long at every retail store as the iPad pushed an incredible one million units, according to analyst estimates, roughly thrice the sales of the first iPad—which was already considered by many to be one of the world's most successful consumer product launches in history.
Now, stock is sparse and demand far exceeds it, which has thrust iPad 2 availability to more than a month for those just ordering now. The early birds who ordered the moment the device launched (and shipped expedited) are just starting to receive their devices now, four days after the road campers snagged up the Apple tablet in-store. Which doesn't seem a long time to wait—but it's an eternity for the truly dedicated.
The iPad 2 is launching next Friday, March 25. If the U.S. launch was any indication, you're going to want to head to Canadian Tire to buy a one-person tent and camp outside your nearest Apple retail store on Monday—Tuesday at the latest. Of course, some people have jobs or go to school, and this isn't a viable option. I guess they'll just have to be at their computers on March 25 at 5:00 pm sharp with their mouse hovering over "Buy Now," and then suffer in agony for four days after launch (is that really as bad as waiting four days before launch outside?).
But if you miss both of these boats, you could easily be waiting until late April or even May to get your iPad 2. And by then, line ups will have already started for the iPad 3.