We realize the iPad 2 launch on March 11th may be challenging, stressful, and hectic. That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate iPad 2 buyers guide. Find out where to buy iPad, what to watch out for, and what not to forget.
The iPad 2 release is surely going to be accompanied by mass quantities of the Apple faithful, swarming like zombies to get their hands on the latest and greatest iOS device.
Due to the very nature of Apple hardware releases, we felt it wouldn’t be fair to let our readers go at it unarmed.
The ultimate iPad 2 buyers guide is designed to help you locate the ideal place to pickup your iPad 2, and includes some helpful tips to make sure you don’t get caught with your pants down come launch day.
What is the iPad 2 release date?
Apple iPad 2 will be available online at The Official Apple Store starting 1:00am Pacific on Friday, March 11, 2011, and will be available in Apple, AT&T, and Verizon Wireless stores starting at 5:00pm local time the same day.
Where to Buy iPad 2
Your local Apple Store:
This is going to be the premier spot to purchase your iPad 2. Apple has over 240 stores spread throughout the United States, and you can bet your last cookie that they will not only be the most stocked outlet, but they will also be the most knowledgeable, and experienced in terms of dealing with Apple launch-day madness.
The biggest problem with making your iPad 2 purchase in an official Apple Store is going to be the line. If you go through with the in-store purchase at an official Apple Store, do yourself a favor and get there early.
Apple hardware releases are synonymous with overnight campers and raving lunatics that must get their hands on their new iOS device. It will be in your best interest to watch carefully, and do your best to arrive at the least crowded Apple Store, as early as possible.
Staying tapped to Google and your Twitter account this Thursday and Friday will help you spot where the longest lines are, so you can try to avoid them!
Bloggers and other online venues will be bringing you live coverage and updates straight from the iLine at select stores. It cant hurt to check out where this coverage is coming from so you can make sure you don’t go there should it look wacky. We’re anticipating some mayhem come launch day.
Austin TX, The South by Southwest Conference (SXSW), and the iPad 2 Lemonade Stand:
Two Apple Store’s we would normally stress that you avoid on Friday are the one’s near Austin TX where the South by Southwest Conference is being held. Those stores are Barton Creek TX and The Domain in Austin, and would normally be flooded with thousand’s of computer fans attending the conference.
However, this year it almost seems as if the timing was carefully planned by Apple. There are several reports that Apple has leased a 5000-square foot space to open up a temporary store outside of the SXSW conference in Austin.
We hear the windows of The Scarbrough Building at 6th and Congress in downtown Austin are currently covered in black window treatments. That’s the likely spot for the over-stocked and very happening temporary iPad 2 lemonade stand.
If you’re in town at SXSW you could check that out, or if you’re really smart you could shoot over to Barton Creek or The Domain in Austin and likely see smaller lines.
If you’re not into the whole waiting in line thing, and you don’t need to get your hands on your iPad 2 immediately, you can always get your iPad2 from the official Apple store with “quick and free shipping”.
The official start time for online iPad 2 orders is 1:00am Pacific on Friday March 11, 2011. Orders placed via Apple.com will ship for free, but there’s a bit of a lead time already.
Most iPad 2 models are already at 2 – 3 week lead time for shipping. Check out our iPad 2 shipping alert for more details.
Big Box Retail Outlets, AKA Apple Retail Partners:
You don’t need to go to the Apple Store to get your iPad 2. There are several Apple retail partners that will be offering iPad 2 on March 11th as well.
BestBuy, Target, Wal-mart, and Sam’s Club will all be carrying iPad 2 on launch day, March 11th, 2011. The advantage of Big Box retailers are their thousand’s of store locations. The downside is they typically run lean on stock (10 units or less per store), despite claiming they are fully stocked.
What about in-store Pickup!? If only it were that simple. Best Buy in-store pickup is not an option on launch day. Bummer.
Wireless Carriers – AT&T and Verizon:
AT&T and Verizon Wireless are currently the two carriers that will carry the 3G iPad 2. There are tons of retailers and official stores across the US, so it shouldn’t be hard to find them.
Remember that wireless carriers will not carry the WiFi only versions of iPad 2, and wireless carriers are typically the leanest of all when it comes to stocking up on hardware. There may only be a few units available for purchase at select wireless carriers.
Avoid the miniature wireless stores, and the wireless stores within Shopping Malls if you can. They typically don’t carry stock of much of anything, nevermind iPad 2.
The best thing you can do if purchasing iPad 2 from a wireless carrier is locating a few stores near you, calling around, and checking stock as you go. That way, you won’t waste any time.
iPad 2 Options and Pricing
This iPad release is a bit different from the first generation iPad release in the sense there are a plethora of options available to consumers. In total, there are 18 different versions of iPad 2 going on sale on March 11th. Here’s the breakdown.
iPad 2 with Wi-Fi Only:
iPad 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G – AT&T:
iPad 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G – Verizon:
All iPad 2 prices listed are in US Dollars (USD). All listed iPad 2 models are available in both Black and White, doubling the amount of choices for consumers!
In closing, we want to say best of luck to all of our iPad fans out there. We will be right with you in line on March 11th, and we will be sure to bring you all of the coverage we can afford.
Stay tuned to TabletMonsters.com for exclusive video’s, live coverage, and so much more come iPad 2 release day. We promise you some truly awesome content, so be sure to keep it right here.
We hope you found this guide helpful. Feel free to e-mail us any of your hot tips.