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Want Your iPad 2 Sooner? Go to Australia

Attention all those on iPad 2 watch: Apple has cut the U.S. delivery time for online purchases of the elusive tablet to 3-4 weeks from a previous estimate of 4-5 weeks, but Australians only need to wait 2-3 weeks. That’s good news for those worried about Apple’s manufacturing shortages – and a timely development ahead of the much-anticipated iPad 2’s global launch on Friday – but it won’t do much to appease patient American customers.

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It also raises another strange possibility: if you buy an iPad 2 now from Apple.com, an online shopper in Sydney, Melbourne or Canberra could theoretically get one before you do. Lines are already forming at Apple stores around the world. The unofficial blog from “Apple Insider” has received numerous reports of overnight lines in Australia, Germany, the U.K. and elsewhere.

If the iPad 2’s launch captured our attention, reports of its absence has consumers worldwide salivating. In future years, students of marketing will write theses on the effect these shortages have had on demand for the product. Many U.S. Apple stores still have that by-now familiar sign/advertisement at the entrance: “Due to the popularity of the iPad 2 we’re out today. We receive new shipments daily, so ask a specialist how you can get one tomorrow.”

Earlier this week, Apple CEO Steve Jobs was mostly sanguine about the delays. “We’re experiencing amazing demand for iPad 2 in the U.S., and customers around the world have told us they can’t wait to get their hands on it,” Jobs said in an official statement. “We appreciate everyone’s patience and we are working hard to build enough iPads for everyone.” For a CEO of a highly profitable company, his choice of words was interesting.

Apple continues to fulfill our needs – not the other way around.


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About Pay Dirt

  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to quentin.fottrell@dowjones.com or tweet @SMPayDirt.