If you're looking to purchase an iPad 2 today, you have two good options: You can order one online and sit around twiddling your thumbs until it ships, or you can go plant yourself outside a licensed iPad dealer for the next four hours and change. The iPad 2 officially becomes available at Apple, Verizon, and AT&T stores at 5pm EST, and tech nerd shantytowns are already flourishing all around the city. The Lincoln Center queue started yesterday morning, while in Soho, the line runs down Mercer Street. (See photo evidence above.)
There is, however, one more way to buy the iPad, although it's slightly less of a sure thing. Walmart, Best Buy and Target will all be carrying small quantities of the device, and rumor has it that some of them have already stocked their shelves. Sales help at Best Buy in Columbus Circle would only say that 5pm is the across-the-board launch time for all Best Buy stores, with line-up starting at 4pm. The Harlem and the Fort Greene Targets are also observing the 5pm start time; staffers at both stores told us that shoppers could start lining up now, but neither one sounded particularly enthusiastic about the idea.
Racked National hears tell of an iPad 2 that appeared at a Walmart in central New York State yesterday, though, so it's possible that those haunting the corridors of big box stores could get lucky. See an iPad 2 in the wild? Have a good line update? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
· iPad 2 Availability: Apple, AT&T, Verizon, Walmart, More [Mac Observer]
· RackedWire: iPad 2 Frenzy Begins [Racked NY]
· iPad 2 Spotted on Shelves at Walmart 24 Hours Before Launch [Racked National]