Apple has a vested interested in getting as many iPad 2s into customer hands as possible, as quickly as possible. It’s not only about mere volume of unit sales. It’s also about trying to slacken the crazy demand that the iPad 2 has generated before customers actively start resenting Apple for it and, in their impatience, are literally driven out of their minds (a state diagnosable by purchasing a Xoom).
So imagine how absolutely ticked off Apple must have been when they heard that Best Buy has been refusing to sell all of its stock of iPad 2s to customers, because they’ve already reached their sales quotas for that day. Actually, no need to imagine, because according to a Best Buy employee speaking to Crunchgear, the answer is “very.”
The situation is that Best Buy has internal quotas set upon iPad 2 sales, but those quotas don’t take into account the actual number of iPad 2 sales in the stores. What it seems like Best Buy has been doing is this: if they get more units in a new iPad 2 shipment than they need to sell for their quota, they hold those extra units back to help make the next day’s quota, and so on.
This is just the sort of stupid “appease management over customers” math that makes Best Buy everyone’s favorite big box. Apple’s storming mad, and has apparently blacklisted Best Buy for the moment, refusing to ship them any more iPad 2s until they get their house in order. That may not be true — although Tim Cook himself is reportedly banging a table about the situation — but even if it is, expect the situation to resolve itself soon. Apple’s not going to feud too long with one of their biggest third-party sales partners.