Typically a solid indicator of an Apple product refresh is when the previous model of that particular product begins to see constraints and shortages. We saw this process prior to the launch of the iPad 2 in March of 2011, and we typically also see this process to prior to launches of Apple’s new Macs. Some examples from recent memory include MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and iMac constraints prior to their 2011 refreshes. Now, the same situation is starting to occur with the iPad 2, a device that will most likely be succeeded by a third-generation iPad in about a month.
According to a source familiar with Apple’s product distribution channels, the iPad 2 WiFi + 3G is constrained. Supply shortages span beyond Apple’s own distribution channels, though, as major retailers are reporting “out of stock” status for the 3G iPad 2. This includes, but is likely not limited to, Carphone Warehouse and Orange in the United Kingdom. Carphone Warehouse is reporting shortges of five out of six of their 3G iPad 2 models (everything but the black 64GB unit), and Orange UK is reporting shortages of half of the 3G iPad 2 SKUs: both 32GB models and the white 64GB unit. Read on for all of the details: