updated 08:50 pm EDT, Fri April 15, 2011
Best Buy iPad 2 promo to have few units
Best Buy's decision to hold iPad 2 stock for a special promo was explained in full on Friday after a store memo gave away its plans. The event in question is just a typical promotion for its April 17 flyer and will see stores carrying at least three iPads this coming Sunday. The version of the memo Engadget obtained had the offline reserve system turned on so shoppers could commit to an iPad outside of the usual schedule, although staff purchases were turned on and could see some of the supply already spoken for before the store opens.
The revelation that Best Buy was holding stock has already angered some buyers, since it was forcing many to either look at another store or wait to buy a unit. Stores may have more than three iPads, but the low quantity suggests most stores will be out of stock almost immediately and that there will have been little practical advantage to holding stock.
Retail shops often practice the same maneuver for Black Friday sales after Thanksgiving in the hope that customers will buy something else even if they didn't get what they had originally intended. Best Buy's use of the tactic out of cycle reflects the ongoing hot demand for the iPad 2 even over a month after it shipped. Online orders are still delayed by two to three weeks, and most Apple stores will sell out shortly after opening.