Gene Munster, Senior Research Analyst at Piper Jaffary, expects shorter lines for the second iteration of Apple’s iPad. It’s less than a year since the launch of the original iPad, which saw hundreds, if not thousands of people queueing up at Apple retail stores across the US. But according to Munster, those anticipating the arrival of iPad 2 on March 11 may not have to dust down those tents and raincoats just yet.
That said, shorter lines do not mean less sales, with Munster predicting that the iPad 2 will outsell its predecessor, which racked up a whopping one million sales in just 28 days.
Munster backs up his prediction with the fact that the original iPad was available at around 1,200 stores at launch, 221 of those being Apple retail stores with Best Buy accounting for around 1,100. However, this time around the iPad 2 will be stocked at over 10,000 stores on launch day, including Target, Walmart and Best Buy. Unlike the launch of the original iPad, the 3G version will be on sale from day one, allowing eager customers to hop over to their local AT&T and Verizon stores also.
So, iPad 2 will be available pretty much everywhere and lines will be generally shorter at places like Best Buy. But will that stop the huge lines that have been present at Apple retail stores over the years? I’m not so sure. Apple has created an experience around buying their products, and I think we will continue to see the usual mammoth queues that are a familiar sight at all iOS device launches. I would go as far to say that those who do wait in line at an Apple store actually enjoy doing so. For me, it doesn’t feel as special when you shop anywhere else.
Do you expect the iPad 2 to outsell the iPad? Will you be waiting in line at your local Apple Store come March 11? Let us know in the comments.