iPad Pro, Accessories: Prepare To Wait

The iPad Pro is trickling out to Apple Stores this week, but the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard are lagging behind badly.
iPad Pro: 6 Pros, 4 Cons For Business Users
iPad Pro: 6 Pros, 4 Cons For Business Users
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The iPad Pro is available in stores now, but probably not the version you want. Worse, supply of the vital accessories is far too low to meet demand. Here's what's available and what's not.

The 32GB WiFi iPad Pro appears to be in healthy stock. In a search I conducted of all the Apple Stores within a 50 mile radius of my New Jersey home on Friday, Nov. 13, most are showing availability of all three colors (silver, gold, and slate gray) in the 32GB capacity.

If you're interested in the 128GB model, forget it. The same search turned up no 128GB iPad Pros in the region. Not a single store has any in stock, according to my results.

The same is more or less true of the 128GB WiFi+Cellular model. Only a single Apple Store in the New York City area -- the Apple Store SoHo on Prince Street -- showed availability of the cellular LTE 4G model in any of the three colors.

iPad Pro shoppers will have more luck online. Like retail stores, Apple's online Web shop has a healthy supply of the 32GB WiFi model, which ships in one day. The 128GB WiFi and 128GB WiFi+Cellular models are both showing shipping times of five to seven business days. If you order the iPad Pro online soon, you may have it before Thanksgiving.

The Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard are another story. I called several Apple Stores in the area, and they didn't have the accessories on hand. The accessories can be purchased from Apple online, but are showing shipping times of five to seven weeks. In other words, your iPad Pro might show up before Thanksgiving, but the accessories that give it many of its powers may not arrive until Christmas.

If you think Best Buy or Apple's carrier partners (AT&T, Verizon Wireless) have the iPad Pro in stock, think again. Best Buy's website tells me there are no iPad Pros available in any of its stores within 250 miles of my home (a range that extends from Hartford, Conn. down to Philadelphia).

AT&T's website will ship you the iPad Pro 128GB WiFi+Cellular -- in early December. I checked several local AT&T shops; not one has any stock of the new iPad.

[Is the iPad Pro the best business tablet? Check out InformationWeek's list.]

Many consumers may find settling for the 32GB WiFi model is acceptable, but power users should hold out for the 128GB model. A laptop-sized tablet needs laptop-like storage, especially if the iPad Pro is to be used in creative pursuits.

Early reviews suggest the iPad Pro is an excellent tablet, but not the best laptop. Are you planning to buy one? Feel free to sound off in the comments below.

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