updated 01:20 pm EST, Mon February 21, 2011
Apple drawing down in prep for iPad 2?
The first-generation iPad appears to be on the way out in Canada and the United Kingdom, reports say. In Canada, major retail chain Future Shop is said to be low or completely out of stock for some models at some outlets. UK retailer Carphone Warehouse is now claimed by 9to5 to be out of the 64GB Wi-Fi iPad, as well as all 3G tablets.
Two of the region's carriers, Orange and T-Mobile, have meanwhile dramatically cut prices for 3G iPads tied to a subscription. On a two-year subscription, an Orange iPad previously cost a minimum of £200 and £25 per month for existing customers, or £230 and £27 a month for new subscribers. In both circumstances the hardware is now just £99. The same pricetag applies to T-Mobile, but only for existing customers locking themselves into a similar two-year, £25-per-month contract.
Considered together, the discounts and absent stocks may strongly indicate that Apple has begun clearing out iPads in advance of a second-generation model. The tablet is already believed to be in production, and should ship in either March or April. US iPad stocks are so far stable, still shipping in 24 hours from the Apple online store.