On Saturday Apple reduced its shipping time estimates for new orders of its extremely popular iPad to 24 hours, down from 7 to 10 days. Since launching the magical device in April, heavy demand had prevented Apple from “magically” getting the iPad into its customers hands. As of now, you can order an iPad today and it will ship by tomorrow.
Product shortages don’t always hurt a company, as evidenced by the continued popularity of the Nintendo Wii even after major shortages during holiday seasons for two years in a row. Apple has been able to ramp up production to meet demand in just 4 months, during which time it has sold in excess of 3.2 million iPads.
Apple announced the iPad would begin initial shipments in April, and since that time has struggled to meet demand. During a recent earnings report on July 20, 2010 COO Tim Cook admitted they were taken by surprise at the strong consumer demand for the iPad. “The demand has just been amazing and this is off to an incredible start,” CFO Peter Oppeneheimer said. Market research firm iSuppli increased their sales estimates for the iPad to 12.9 million this year, up from previous estimates of 7.1 million units. With Apple now able to increase supply of the iPad, look for that estimate to be met or even exceeded by year’s end.