When and Where to Buy the iPad 2, Does It Matter?
Option 1 -- Apple.com
Option 2 -- Best BuyProbably the most popular option, you can march your tush into a Best Buy store starting at 5 PM local time and walk out with any version of the iPad 2 you want, assuming nothing sells out. We don't expect demand to be as rabid as it was for the iPad 1 launch, and even then it wasn't too hard to find one in stock at your local Best Buy. But whether or not that presents a challenge today depends on how much stock Apple was able to allocate. This could especially be true of the white model.
Option 3 -- AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Apple StoresLike Best Buy, both supported wireless carriers (AT&T and Verizon Wireless) as well as all 236 Apple Stores will make the iPad 2 available for purchase starting at 5 PM. The advantage to purchasing directly from an Apple retail outlet is that, should you need it, you'll receive free Personal Setup service, meaning an Apple guru will guide you through setting up email, loading new apps, and whatever else you might need help with.
Option 4 -- Walmart and TargetUnlike the iPad 1 launch, Walmart and Target will carry the iPad 2 on day of release (today). For what it's worth, if the only thing holding you back from purchasing an iPad 2 is that, daggonit, it costs $1 too much, Walmart will sell the iPad 2 starting at $498, a single George Washington less than Apple. That gives you enough buying power to purchase pretty much anything you want from the local Dollar Store, assuming you can scrounge up a few pennies for tax.
Target, meanwhile, will sell the iPad 2 for the same price as Apple, though be aware that "model availability may vary by store."
What It Boils Down ToThe bottom line is, if you really want an iPad 2, you should be able to get one. While we wouldn't be surprised if a particular SKU sells out, we doubt there will be any major shortage issues that affect all stores. Alternately, Motorola's Xoom tablet is looking like a sexy Android slate, albeit comparative chubby next to the iPad 2.