If you don't have your iPad yet, get in line.
A new seat-of-the-pants survey by the research firm Piper Jaffray finds that Apple's popular tablet computer is in short supply. The analysts called 50 Apple stores and found a "very limited" supply of iPads, Fortune magazine's web site reports. Specifically:
[Update 5/22: A physical check of the Scottsdale, AZ iPad store found more than a dozen customers test-driving iPads but, a store clerk said, none available for sale.]
The popularity of the iPad is no secret. Apple sold 1 million iPads in the first month. An analyst at RBC Capital Markets says Apple is selling more than 200,000 iPads a week domestically, compared to 110,000 Macs per week. Other industry experts say the iPad is killing the whole netbook industry .
Ironically, iPad sales may even be hurting sales of the iPod.
Meanwhile, there's no end in site for demand for iPads and competing tablet computers and e-reader devices. A new survey by the Boston Consulting Group finds that in the next year, 29 percent of U.S. consumers plan to buy a tablet computer or e-book reader. And one finding of the survey reveals why iPads are in short supply: A whopping 90 percent of those who plan such a purchase want to use the device as a web browser. Globally, sales of tablet computers are expected to jump six-fold by 2014.
Though not without usability problems and some serious shortcomings , the iPad and its success has contributed to the demise of at least a couple other tablet computers before they even hit the market, and it has also led to a slew of competing devices being planned. Perhaps some of those devices will fill the demand Apple is struggling to meet.
For consumers hoping to find an iPad, they're also available (presumably) at Best Buy stores (but not at bestbuy.com). And iPads are sold on Amazon.com through various retailers.