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5/21/2010
10:58 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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iPad Sold Out, Users 91% Satisfied

The iPad 3G appears to be sold out at most Apple Stores across the U.S. The Wi-Fi model is less scarce, but barely so. Did Apple underestimate supply badly? According to user surveys, 91% of people who own an iPad are satisfied with it. Perhaps word-of-mouth is selling the device for Apple.

The iPad 3G appears to be sold out at most Apple Stores across the U.S. The Wi-Fi model is less scarce, but barely so. Did Apple underestimate supply badly? According to user surveys, 91% of people who own an iPad are satisfied with it. Perhaps word-of-mouth is selling the device for Apple.Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster called 50 U.S. Apple retail stores to gauge the supply of iPads.

In a note written to his clients, Munster said, "74% of the stores we checked were completely sold out of all iPad models. 26% had some Wi-Fi models in stock, and no stores had any 3G models available. We note that the stores have implemented a reservation system, by which customers can request to be placed on a waitlist for future iPad shipments, notified upon arrival, and given 24 hours to pick up the iPad. One Apple store representative indicated that the in-store reservation system typically takes 4-7 days."

Wow. Munster also checked how online sales are doing. Apple has pushed the shipping estimates of iPads from 5-7 days out to 7-10 days, meaning it is taking longer to fulfill iPad orders. This information leads Munster to conclude that the iPad will be in short supply at least through June, and the supply/demand equation may not balance out until the Fall.

User satisfaction is likely driving sales. Based on data compiled by ChangeWave Research, 74% of iPad owners are very satisfied, and another 17% are somewhat satisfied. The number of people claiming that they are "satisfied" amounts to 91%. That's a huge number. Only 1% admitted to being very dissatisfied with the iPad.

When asked what exactly they like about the iPad, 21% said it was the iPad's screen size and quality: 15% said ease of use; 12% said overall size and weight; and 10% said portability.

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