Where’s the Best Place to Buy iPad 2? An Apple Specialist. Here’s Why



The only way to ensure that you have an iPad 2 today is to buy one from one of the many retail outlets. However, all retailers are not treated equally, so I’ll be giving you the run down on the best places to purchase your iPad 2 from.

Your best, hassle-free bet is to pick one up from an Apple Specialist. Here’s why:

The Apple Store –

Apple’s retail stores will have more available supply of iPads than any other retail location you can go to. They’ll also have every single model in every color. Rumor is that the white model maybe hard to find at non-Apple retailers, so if you’re really dying for a white iPad 2 on Friday evening then you’re probably going to have to brave the lines. Don’t worry though, Apple employees will take care of you while you wait and usually provide waiters with water and snacks. If you don’t want a white iPad then you have a lot of better options available. Sure, if you like waiting in line for 2-7 hours to get your hands on the latest Apple products then buying from the Apple Store is the place for you. A lot of people want things now instead of later though. If you’re one of those impatient types then you’ll want to look elsewhere. Only go to the Apple Store if you desperately want white, or desire to join the long waiting lines to feel like you’re part of the celebration.

Best Buy –

Information is a little bit shaky as to how many units Best Buy stores are going to have to offer. In more populated cities you could see as many as 100 units in the store, however in lower populated cities Best Buy is likely only going to be offering 20-40 units. At 4:30PM local time, Best Buy will start handing out iPad tickets to customers waiting in line. If you come a little later and aren’t able to get a ticket at least you don’t have to wait around for an hour only to find out there’s no more iPads in stock. No solid word has been given as to whether they’ll have white iPads along with black, but that doesn’t matter as we already told you that the 16GB Wifi iPad 2 in black is the most solid choice. If it’s on the way home from work and there’s not an Apple Specialist in the area, it may be a good idea to check out Best Buy before getting in line at the Apple Store if you don’t have a Third Party Dealer in your area.

Walmart/Target –

It’s been really hard to gauge just how many units Target and Walmart stores will be getting. I’ve called about ten different Walmarts in the Phoenix area and so far no one has a clue how many iPad 2’s they’re getting or if they’ll even get them in stores by March 11th. Target and Walmart receive shipments at night so they can have shelves stocked and ready to go in the morning when customers start coming through the door. Some reports say that a few Walmart stores already have iPads on display, but I haven’t seen anything like that myself yet. Call ahead and see if they have anything available before making a trip to the store. Walmart/Target is one of the least likely places to have plenty of iPad 2’s in stock on March 11th. Better try somewhere else first before getting desperate.

Verizon/AT&T Stores-

According to MacRumors.com the iPad 2 is only expected to be available at select Verizon Stores. Not sure which stores are considered to be select, so this is more of another desperation option if you can’t get one anywhere else. AT&T is taking online orders at 1AM PST, and will have units available in stores at 5PM local time. The uncertainty of which stores are going to have units makes these options two of the least appealing for getting an iPad on launch day.

Apple Specialists –

Apple Specialists are Third Party Retail outlets that are licensed to sell Apple products exclusively. The iStore down the street from my house is almost like stepping into an Apple Store. A lot of consumers would rather go straight to the Apple Store instead of hitting up one of the knock-off retail stores that sell genuine Apple products so this makes Apple Specialists a real appealing choice for a quick way to get an iPad. From the info I’ve gathered, Apple Specialists are expecting to receive iPads on Friday morning. If you’re lucky, they may let you reserve one if you call in on Friday morning. You can find these under the radar stores by going to this link and typing in your zip code. Most of these local mom and pop shops are happy to give out information if they’ve got it, so feel free to phone ahead to ask how much stock they have and if they’re taking reservations. Despite not being a real Apple Store, these under the radar local shops are the next best thing and will probably help you avoid the lines and uncertainties of getting an iPad 2 today.

Conclusion: Waiting in line at the Apple Store can be a fun experience. I’ve done it on many product launches and Apple employees always take care of the customers and make you feel like you’re part of a grand event. The only trade-off is that you have to wait in line for hours and that doesn’t particularly appeal to everyone. Our recommendation is to check out an Apple Specialist, as they are most likely to have enough stock to meet demands without having to wait in the long lines.

  • vintagesax88

    DO NOT BUY AN iPAD 2.0
    To see why:

  • american

    I agree. Our local Apple Specialist actually has the product knowledge where as the Apple store employees know nothing.

  • David

    We are not “knock-off retail stores”, nor are we “under the radar stores”.
    I appreciate the article but please keep in mind that Apple Specialists have been around longer than the Apple stores and we are the #1 resource for Apple sales, service, and support.

  • Woodsman

    The Apple Specialist definitely does have better product knowledge than the employees of the Apple owned Apple stores who are only interested in selling you a product so they can pad their pocket with commission, the author of this article needs to know that Apple treats the Apple Specialists not as third party partners but as fourth rate citizens in the business world. Product is made available to these specialized businesses ONLY after Apple has saturated other channels with product first. Unfortunately I will not be getting an iPad 2 on Friday March 11 as i prefer to buy from my local specialist and so choose to wait until he has product.

  • Kevin

    I am a former Apple Retail Store Employee – two corrections need to be made.
    1. Apple Retail Store Employees DO NOT make a commission off any of their sales. Never have and unless this has changed since I worked at a store in 2006 is still the same.
    2. I come from a history dating back to Macintosh LC (1991) trust me When a customer comes in to an Apple Store a lot of their employees are very knowledgable.

    The difference is some employees are trained for quick simple questions that a NON-Techie consumer would prefer to talk to. Others are more advanced that would be better for a more technical experienced person would want to talk to.

    I give all prompts to the Apple Specialists that have been there through Apple’s dark years. They are the ones that kept Apple afloat when it needed them.

    That being said, Apple did the right thing by opening their own stores. I don’t know how many times pre-apple retail stores I would walk into a CompUSA, BestBuy, Computer City only to be told the Mac is Dead, or no one knew anything about them. Those are the ones that were only interested in selling you a Windows PC so they could make money from a spiff selling them. Although, the then Apple Specialists Stores where very helpful and many times that’s where I bought my Apple Products those stores were in fact VERY Far and Few at the time.

    Since Apple took matters into their own hands you hear nothing but complaints from a few Apple Specialist Stores rather they are justified or not, Apple has done a fantastic job turning themselves around. And in doing so have made some great computers even better, turn the MP3 Players around, turned the smart phones around and now the tablet market around. All of which was out their way before Apple enter either Market. Apple has made all of these devices BETTER and people want them. Instead of giving Apple their just dues all we hear is a bunch a whining… Apple is not perfect, but how many other companies do you really know that can draw crowds to their stores to buy something? Not many if you ask me.

  • me wantipad

    I called the few apple specialists in the Chicago area and none will even have the Ipad2 today…

  • [Deleted User]

    Apple Store employees don’t make a commission on sales.

  • kingv84

    I agree with you my friend.

  • akri

    I’m so tempted but I love my “old” ipad and would only upgrade to ipad 3 if the retina display rumors are to be believed.. thanks great post.

  • akri

    Right on Kevin! People claim to hate Apple which I really don’t know why.. but usually people who are haters are nothing but jealous. Apple is a leader and the others just follow in its wake. And it’ll continue to be so hopefully for many years to come with Steve Jobs at the helm, healthy and happy to be there.

  • me wantipad2

    None in the Boston area.

  • Pifman

    As others have pointed out, my local Apple Specialist hasn’t received a single iPad yet, less than 2 hours before they’re supposed to be on sale (but expects some Wi-Fi models… maybe).

  • Bluedevilmagic

    The Best Buy in Rocky Mount, NC only had 15 iPads in stock. Five 16GB black, five 16GB white and five 32GB black. I was number 15 in line.

  • Joe Rao

    I was #3 of 5 at the West Seattle Target. Unfortunately they only had 5 white 16GB WIFI iPads

  • Slphilips

    e-mail received from The Mac Store – a Washington/Oregon based Apple specialist – was advertising availability of iPad2. I didn’t contact them so I can’t confirm if – or how many – they had in stock.

  • Greeniatag

    This was hilarious. Not only did I not get any snacks when I asked for a iPad 2 this morning at the North/ClybournApple Store, but the guy laughed right in my face. My Apple Specialist told me I would have to go to an Apple Store for an iPad 2.

  • Number1

    “#1” means nothing… it is just a meaningless phrase. Trust me, I am the #1 person at definitions in the world

  • Nina

    how bout online..

  • CharliK

    Not only do Apple Store employees not make commission but in some cases they are just as knowledgable as those Authorized shops. Don’t assume that just because your local staff are morons, it’s like that everywhere. At my local shops they are very smart, very hip to local needs and have proactively approached me on several occasions about new products even from 3rd parties that I might find useful at work.

    Whereas my local “specialists” as asshats that can’t even bother to get my name right when it on an order form in front of them. And play “little lady” games with me because they seem to think that a woman can’t possibly under how computers and tech work.

  • awoodenmd

    An easier to way to find your local Apple Specialist is to go to http://www.applespecialist.com. Product availability is completely determined by Apple. While, as an Apple Specialist, I believe there are good and sound reasons for going to an Apple Specialist, I also recognize the value in the Apple Stores. Each provides necessary services to the Mac community. While there is some overlap, by the very nature of the business (both sell Apple products and provide warranty service, for instance), both also provide unique services and products. If you’ve only ever been to an Apple Store, consider checking out your local Apple Specialist.

  • Nj358

    This is either very poor planning by the Cult or brilliant marketing. I really believe that this ongoing shortage of IPADS is their way of maintaining the hype and keeping their device on the front page

  • Bucky OT

    Got my iPad 2 16GB wifi finally at my local bestbuy. A useful tool called http://www.ooschecker.com was a great help to me.

  • JohnWilliams76

    If any are still looking for the iPad 2, there are have been quite a few recently available on iPad2Tracker.com. There’s still a considerable shortage, but hopefully, even with the recent explosion it won’t get any worse.

  • BabyClothes

    I found a method to get a free new iPad 2,just register and verify email here:

  • jessica

    Cheap iPad2
    The iPad 2 went on sale in the U.S. on March 11, and already the device is selling out at Apple, AT&T, Verizon and various retail stores around the country.

  • stephanieestrada

    i wish they cost only $100 for me

  • joyservice

    Thanks for your advice.

  • Vincent Pishione

    I really want to get an Ipad but i cant find anyone with one cheap enough because my mom wont buy one over 250.00$

  • Vincent Pishione

    Does anyone know where i can get one that cheap?

  • Ku

    I just registered here and got it for free unbelievavle just recieved parcel from them. i thought theyt re lying but i got a free ipad2 from here

  • Host Council

    I got mine used off Amazon for $450. That’s the cheapest price I could find and I search everywhere. http://tinyurl.com/3gbxv8m

    It came with a 30 day money back guarantee. I refuse to buy stuff at the Apple store, they charge a restocking fee if you return it!!! Lame. I absolutely hate going in there. They really gotta clear out all the riffraff using the place like it’s a free Internet cafe.