Our correspondent in Washington, Ralf Meier, spent yesterday and today trawling around Apple stores and resellers in DC, Virginia and Maryland in search of an iPad 2 – any iPad. He's returned home empty handed and with stories of confusion and mayhem. The Apple store in Bethesda was in a state of unusual disarray, with phones ringing off the hook and a steady stream of potential Apple converts/users/customers being turned away. Not good PR, it seems.
The story at Target, Best Buy, Walmart and Sam's was even bleaker. These stores have been inundated with potential customers and find that they, not Apple, are being blamed for the lack of supply. One manager said: "We just can't afford to have people come in and walk out frustrated and with nothing." Another, a more senior regional manager for one of the chains, told us they were unable to get any sense out of Apple: " "They don't give a damn," he said. In another reseller, the manager said that they would be better off concentrating more on Android devices in future.
Either Apple have miscalculated the demand or they have deliberately created a shortage in order to attract more publicity. Either way, there are loads of frustrated buyers out there this evening.