As fervent Apple fans have already started to line up to get their hands on a new iPad, consumers that are interested in purchasing the tablet through the Apple site may be disappointed. After Apple ran out the initial launch allotment for March 16 and pushed the date to March 19 for the next batch, Apple has pushed the shipping date yet again to a vague “2-3 weeks” on both the standard black Wi-Fi models and the more expensive 4G LTE models. In addition, the white models are also pushed into the new time frame. Consumers that order the new iPad through Apple.com today won’t see the hardware ship until March 30 at the earliest and April 6 at the latest.
According to Apple spokeswoman Trudy Miller, consumer demand for the new tablet have been “off the charts” thus the company is struggling to keep up with preorders. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster is estimating that Apple will sell over one million new iPads on launch day.
However, this isn’t a new experience for Apple as the company also had to shift shipping dates of the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2 prior to the release of each device. Last year, shipping delays for preorders of the iPad 2 reached four to five weeks from launch day.
The lack of supply has driven opportunistic eBay sellers to increase sale prices of the new tablet by at least 20 percent. For instance, the white 16GB Wi-Fi model that Apple sells for $499 is being sold at approximately $625 to $640 on eBay as of Monday, March 12. The 4G models being sold on eBay have even higher markups and the 64GB models are reaching $1,250, a staggering 50 percent increase of the base price of $829. Hypothetically, these eBay sellers already preordered the device on announcement day or plan to camp out in line at a retail Apple store to obtain enough product to ship out to eBay buyers.