With US iPad 2 stocks still low, should Apple be going ahead with the international roll-out?

iPad 2 boxes in Apple Store

We're getting a lot of feedback from American readers who are upset that, with iPad 2 inventory so low at US Apple Stores and online orders already pushed back over a month, Apple is going ahead with the international iPad 2 roll-out this Friday. They believe that Apple should meet "home country" demand first even if it means delaying the international launch by a month, like they did last year for the original iPad.

Of course, many US iPads were also bought by international enthusiasts eager to get it right away (or by scalpers who lined up by the dozens to make a quick buck selling them overseas.) I'm guessing if you live in the US you might agree that Apple should meet US demand first (or are even thinking of traveling to the Canadian or UK launch to try to get your iPads back!). International buyers are no doubt relieved the won't be a delay this year.

Give us your opinion -- or just vent if you must -- in the comments! (Just keep it respectful)

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!


Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, co-host of Vector, Review, and Isometric podcasts, and should be followed on Twitter @Georgia_Dow.

More Posts



← Previously

International iPad 2 pricing announced, UK less than the original iPad launch price

Next up →

More iPhone 5 metal back, 4-inch screen, NFC rumors

Reader comments

With US iPad 2 stocks still low, should Apple be going ahead with the international roll-out?


Believe it or not there are other places in the world that matter other than the US. This coming from a Maryland resident.

Agreed. Think how ticked we would have been if Europe got it first, we were second, then Apple decided, after they had listed a target date, to postpone it to meet demand in the country that got it first.

That and I am pretty sure the iPad shortages and the ensuing lines and online battling through eBay and Craiglist are invaluable and part of a marketing strategy that keeps Apple's products 'Hot'. Verizon launched iPhone 4 with plenty of stock from many outlets and with (mostly) trouble free ordering and look what happened. Assumptions that people aren't buying them came out and it fell off the radar.

How else can they create hype? iPad 2 sold out everywhere in the world sure sounds better than just in the US.

How about filling orders from the original launch date first!!!
Sure launch world wide, but honor orders that were placed first, at least on launch date!

To be honest, honor first orders is equal to stop international roll-out because no one else was allowed to place orders.

It's possible that moving forward with the international launch will relieve the stores of the scalper types thereby loosening up supply constraints.

Of course they should. You'd be surprised to know that there's places in the world which don't have a US zipcode! Jony Ive is actually from one of them. Flippin' Americans!

Typical anti-American banter. if there even was a technology company worth their weight in poop, and they pushed back English sales to sell the product in america, you clowns would have a collective field day crying about how they should serve the homeland before they sell to the yanks. but, then again, I can see why you'd want to eat your cake and have it, too

Seriouslyyyyy!!! This is the worst strategy ever! I really hated iphones.. and they are making me hate ipad for no reason! APPLE marketing strategy sucks!

Same strategy Ninty used successfully for the Wii, not enough to go round, = MASSIVE hype.
Only difference is, I actually still use my iPad on a regular daily basis, whereas my Wii is boxed up ready and waiting for the day they are collectors items and I can sell it 'as new in box, hardly used. :D

Maybe it will stop the campers from reselling on ebay over seas now that people can buy them direct in their country.

I think it needs limited to one iPad per person per day. This will open the opportunity to more people having an iPad and reduce the eBay selling to an extent. 2 iPad purchases max until supplies are meeting demand. I hated to see a lot of people in line not get one because almost everyone was buying 2 at a time.

^ This. That was ridiculous, anyone with available credit at the front of a line would just max it out to sell them on eBay.

Apple's strategy for the IPad2 distribution is horrible. I ordered 1 and they said 5 weeks however with demand being so high, they should increase production. If a better product comes out, people would be open to buy it.

Do you know that for a fact? I believe it is a part of their strategy to produce just enough to feed the hype, to make consumers feel that they must get theirs quickly, while supplies last. It's one of the oldest tricks in the marketing book, and Apple is the king of marketing.

I think two weeks is fair. In Ireland we had to wait FOUR months last year to get the iPad, and even then it wasn't available initially online and only in Apple resellers in the big cities.
And yes it should cool down that scalper market considerably.

If Apple only sell their products in America, like many comments seem to suggest, they were bankrupted by now.

Apple is a very smart corporation. If they were only selling to America, they wouldn't have had to increase their supply chain, retail operations, etc to that of an international level. They would definitely not be bankrupt...but also wouldn't be such a hot stock.

Of course they should, for two reasons:

  1. There is STRONG competition this year in the Android sector, and it's only going to get worse as the year rolls on. Getting a foothold in other markets is a strategic strength.
  2. By reducing availability here in the US, the fervor among the "I can't wait 5 minutes longer for the latest shiny thing!" only grows, which feeds news stories that are essentially just free publicity.

Personally, I'm done being an early adopter of ANYTHING, because early adopters always get the shaft. However, there are plenty of people out there with zero self control.

Then the other countries of the world should house a technology company that offers a product in such high demand. The rest of the world is also saying "now, now, me, me" also.
Liam is just the only one mentally inept enough not to realize it.

Designed in California by Apple.
Built in China by Foxconn.
Apple might be a US firm, but without Foxconns' massive manufacturing facilities the iPad could NOT be made as quickly or as cheaply as it is. Sorry Americans, but Apple is global in more than just its customer base, so you gotta suck it up and accept it like the rest of the world, Location of the company HQ doesn't matter at all. Might s well be the Bahamas.
You get a nice tax break there for starters.

@Maniacfive - I understand exactly that Apple uses Foxconn to produce the iPhone and the iPad. Foxconn produces Apple's products, and not the other way around. You fail to understand that regardless of the countries production facilities, Apple is a US company.

Humm, care to find out how many foreigners work there, starting with the lead designer? The fact is that if there were no chinese factories, none of these products would be out there, because an iPad would cost U$4000 and would be impossible for any company to make them and turn up a profit.
Apple is based in the US, but like Nike, it is really a global company.

Sell.. Sell.. Sell.. They should meet internation demand.. After all its a business.. Americans should wait for new shipments.. By the way I am in America and I already got mine :-)

What a stupid question in the article's title!! Wich answer do you think is appropiate:
"Lets stop with the international roll-out to calm down the whining we hear from the customers within a single country that believes that they are the only country"
"Lets go ahead and honor our international deathlines, becouse we have much more customers than in that one single country"

Apple is an international company,selling more than half of their products outside USA. All launches should happen internationally from Day One. I can't understand any other way of doing things...

Not normally one to criticise editorial decisions on smartphone experts blogs, but isn't this particular blog post pretty much guaranteed to stir up a USA vs rest of world comment fest?

Of course, that's the idea. A simpler title would have been "Are Americans Special?" but maybe that would be too obvious.

They should reinstate their prior "one per credit card" policy and prohibit cash sales. They are all going to scalpers at the 5th ave store and they are paying shills with cash to go in and buy them.

I don't see that Apple should push back their international launch just to appease greedy Americans. It would be nice if they handled the launch with more finesse, but we can't expect them to kowtow to each and every customer. So I have to wait for my product- well, its worth waiting for. I didn't expect to get it right away, especially since they weren't taking pre-orders. It was the same for the iPhone launches and the original iPad launch last year. Patience, it seems, is a virtue far from the American psyche. -TX, USA

I think it is ridiculous that I purchased an iPad 2 a few hours after it was released on March 11th and I will not get it until sometime in April!! What kind of (*&% is that?
Come on Apple - this time you got it wrong!

Can not find the link, but not sure which parts are made in Japan, and how the terrible disaster will affect future production. Thought all of them were made in China.

I sent an email in to team TiPb about this...and not due to being a "greedy American". I believe that, even as a company with international customers, they should at least honor and ship those orders made on launch day in the US before launching it elsewhere. What they are essentially telling those of us who placed orders on day one is that, "We actually do have the iPad you ordered on March 11, but we're going to offer it up to a dirty Frenchman instead of shipping it to you."
Awesome Apple.

Yes, I'm pissed. Not because I think the US should be handled first, but because they took millions of orders from the US the day they went on sale that they still have no hope of fulfilling until well after this international release.
It also means that the releases in other countries will go just as badly as this first one, so they're basically just spreading the anger around the globe, rather than waiting until they're actually ready for the demand. If they waited to launch it in the rest of the world until they had actual supply, they could actually learn from some of the lessons they should've learned in the US.
Why put a product on sale that you have no hope of shipping for at least a month, when that time would just be spent building up hype and desire anyway?
If I didn't have a receipt in my hand making me angry that they can't fulfill my order, I'd just be sitting here dreamy-eyed and wishing I could pick one up.
They're just setting themselves up for anger from their customer base. It's pretty stupid IMHO.

They are made in China. My iPad 2 shipped from Shenzhen. It's not that Americans are the only people that matter but if you don't have enough product to meet demand in one country. How would you possibly meet demand in other countries? So every store will get 10 iPads?

They should do online orders for everyone on a first come first serve basis but online sell in stores in the US until they catch up with demand.

If they delayed the roll out internationally, to funnel those stocks to the U.S., (emphasis on the last bit of that sentence.) It would be a PR disaster, they would be sending a message to say, hey, you already had to wait, but, people in the U.S. are more important than you, so now we're taking that stock to sell there.' Home market or not, Apple is a global company, and that would seriously piss off a lot of international customers.
Besides, this is what you get for not being a good loyal early adopter. You haveta wait. Either you we're up early to pre-order online, or you took the day off work to be among the first inline, or you simply don't need an iPad 2 THAT much. Otherwise you would've been there.

I would expect any responsible company to fulfill existing orders in its pipeline before delivering on new orders.
If the table was turned and let's say Nokia was making the hot new product, only to realize they committed to more product in EMEA than they could deliver on, would you "International citizens" be upset if Nokia re-routed a huge chunk of available inventory to the US because they want to roll it out there? And then push back your delivery date by three weeks?
I'm not saying they shouldn't push back the international roll launch to allow any American who wants an iPad to get one. I take issue with the fact that they still haven't fulfilled the orders placed within hours of the launch.
Apple should not have launched the iPad anywhere if their production process couldn't even come close to delivering.

If Apple has planned international sales, then it means that they started manufacturing long time ago (at least month or more before) to be able to ship them in time. Even if Apple wanted to satisfy US demand at first sacrificing international sales, they could not just take the same devices and divert them into US, because, the packages are different - starting from the plugs, and also languages on the box and manual. Well, unless US citizens would like to use UK plugs, or get a box with instructions on French or Italian :)
Anyway, don't be silly :)

Great comment.
When Apple announced a solid date for the iPad 2 release internationally - unlike last time when it was just a month - it signalled to many that they'd already started producing the iPad 2's for the various other countries.
Like the previous reader said, you can't just take a UK iPad and re-route it to the US. There are differences - however small.

It's a question of "want"and "need". If Apple was selling a life saving drug my answer might be different, but at the end of the day the iPad 2 is a spare computer for most - and for the biggest whiners, it's probably the third or fourth spare computer.
Waaaa - I have to wait three months to get my iPad! Waaaa.
Apple made commitments to these other countries that the need to honor. It sucks that I can't get my iPad until later, but if it was that important to me I should have camped in front of a store prior to launch day.
Look at Japan, New Zealand and Libya and get some perspective.

We should be just happy, that people don't have to line up for the daily bread instead of a significant,but not life or death

Dirty frenchman ?

If you had a bit more culture, maybe you could avoid pointless racism.FYI there is more than 15 percent of French engineer at apple Cuppertino ...
After on the subject, being sold out a week is funny ... Being sold out mire than that, could be seen as a bad planning.

Don't take it personally. I'm sure the French are very hygienic. I don't think a bit of humor should ever be taken as a lack of "culture". I am very well traveled thank you very much.

For Info. Notification emails have just been sent from PC World (UK). The number of stores stocking the iPad 2 on 25th looks limited.

I wonder how many of you saying that they should ship international already have yours or don't intend to buy one at all. I actually have one already and I think that they should honor international promises. But I don't think that it's right to have people who've already ordered waiting like this. They should stop sending them to stores and handle all their online backorders right now. People are still getting in line everyday and winning! It's not fair. Maybe the should find a second manufacturer.

Personally, I think it's irresponsible to take orders and not fulfil them before the international rollout. You can call me a cry baby American but I don't care. First off, I bought a CDMA iPad. The rest of the world doesn't even utilize that tech in any REAL capacity. Secondly, I will "waaaaa I have to wait 3 months"... when a product is going to be updated in another 12 months or less... I want to get my money's worth. They know I'm going to buy an iPad 3 just like I bought every iPhone and the previous iPad.
Its insulting as a loyal customer.

The problem is the people that buy as much as they can and then sell them overseas. So people who wanted one like me won't be able to get one for who know's how long. It ruins it for everybody.

Hummm.. Would kinda be nice if the ones I ordered on 3/11 at 7:00am (pst) would ship before the one(s) for the guy in Alice Springs, Australia, but I guess for Apple that's too much to ask... It must be the shorter distance they have to travel to Alice Springs than to Chicago.... hummm...

All you people whining about how Apple "needs to honor its previous commitments before opening sales elsewhere" need to remember that they've already MADE commitments to the international markets BEFORE you're order was ever able to be placed. Last year they screwed us, and reneged on their promises to us, and received considerable backlash over it. Why would they risk that again, assuming that the iPads manufactured for the international launch were even COMPATIBLE with US systems, which in many cases, they're just not.
If you want to blame someone for not having an iPad in your hands right now, blame yourself for not wanting it badly enough. THIS VERY BLOG pointed out that people were starting to line up several days in advance. Were you there? No. Your fault.
And, to all you people who are saying "Apple shouldn't have launched a product if they couldn't meet initial demand" I laugh at you. Where exactly do you plan on Apple storing the several million ipads while they waited to have enough for launch? Also, since they're operating at peak output capacity, you'd STILL have been waiting till sometime in April for your iPad, and Apple wouldn't have iPad revenue to PAY for manufacturing.
Open your eyes and stop living in a dream world where you get what you what, when you want it, all the time. Apple's doing the best they can to keep everyone happy, have some patience.

Not a bad point... but suck it International community, the US should get its orders first.
I wouldn't doubt that it becomes available with a 7-8 week shipping date, just after those who have already ordered get theirs.
There will be a few in stores no doubt, so get in line early...

Your point about international commitments is correct and I agree completely (as an American).
However, your point here is completely incorrect: "assuming that the iPads manufactured for the international launch were even COMPATIBLE with US systems, which in many cases, they’re just not."
With the possible exception of the Japanese and Korean markets, there is no difference in the hardware or software load of iPads sold in or outside the US. None. Nada. Zilch. Zero. Naught. Ling. They are more than compatible, they are identical hardware and software produced on the same lines.

Why would you people want that Apple fulfil US orders before the international rollout? When you purchased the iPad 2, you agreed to wait 3-4 weeks or 4-5 weeks, even when you previously knew that the international rollout will happen on March 25.
Other countries will start orders on March 25, but that doesnt mean that people will recieve them before US orders. In-store purchases are other thing, but with the same argument (you knew you had to wait until it arrived to your doorstep)
If you want that Apple stop the international rollout so they can restock first in the US... well, that might happen (restocking), but the international rollover will happen even if you continue whinning, or in the worst case scenario... even if the restocking happens 3 months later in the US.

Relatively new to tipb.com (in the last fortnight or so) and I'm disappointed to see the jingoistic nonsense that this topic has brought about.

I think they should do international orders because I happened to stumble across my iPad today, however previously this afternoon when I was reading this article from my iPhone I thought they shouldn't do int. Orders yet! Luckily they lady at Bb had been telling everyone that it was the 3G model on accident and realized her mistake when I called... I don't care what happens now!!

Can't see theres a problem. US buyers got a chance to buy a couple weeks before everyone else. Apple could have just as easily released them to all markets on the same day.

I'm not going to say anything much than sit back and reflect upon the above... via my iPad 1, which I am still more than happy with and not queueing up for the v2...
much love,

C'mon...! Sitting in Northern Europe, I'll have to admit the thought struck me for a millisecond that international shipping would be postponed but then the nasty divisive thought vanished as quickly as it had snug up on me and faded nicely into oblivion with so many other senseless anxieties that pop up uninvited. I'm a bit embarrased on Tipb's behalf that you actually put finger to keyboard and articulated the thought as something to be seriously pondered. SOLIDARITY...

Ummm. While apple is an American company, they service the world. Relax. We will all get one before 12/21/2012.

I am patiently waiting for my iPad 2 to show up. I am not upset that they are rolling out in other countries. I agree with those that said I chose to wait. I also chose not to camp out in a line all day and not get anything accomplished other than spending money on a device that is cool but wasn't a necessity as I have my phone and macbook pro to get me by!

How typically ignorant and selfish of the yanks to think that they are more important than anyone else.
When Apple announced the iPad 2, they stated then that it would go on sale in other countries on 25th March, they made that commitment before any americans ordered a product which is out of stock!
The world does not revolve around America, and Apple are FULLY aware of this which is why iPad 2's international rollout is more important to them than some people moaning that they can't get their hands on one now!
Grow up and wait your turn!

How typically uninformed and rude of someone from the international community to say this. I mean really... just go ahead and make enemies of your fellow iPad loving peers rather than talking about the actual issue at hand.
Sorry but the whole rude American thing is so 2006... move on.

Umm...it's true. As an American, I can honestly say I'm ashamed more times than not to have that title. Our selfishness and greed shines through more than anything, and is again with this ongoing situation with the iPad 2.
Just because Apple is an American company (by HQ status) does not mean we are their sole worry. They service the entire globe. For someone here in America to sit in front of their computer complaining they didn't get their iPad 2 because "the rest of the world" had to want theirs is incredibly selfish. The stereotype of rude, selfish Americans exists because it's real.

Generalizing an entire population based on the actions of a few is rude and ignorant. Every country has its fair share of asses but you don't see me saying "All of the French are conceited" or "All Germans are racist" or any of the other nonsense.
Judge someone based on their character, actions, and integrity. Not based on their nationality, race, or gender.

On previous occasions international customers had to get their goods from the US, as of Friday it will be the opposite. How much you guys wanna pay for a white 32GB model ?

Why should the rest of the world until all the Americans a served their iPad 2 on plate? You had your chance to get one, now its our turn. Americans such a me, me, me first country.

I agree! The yanks take our gas and oil yet I still have to pay top dollar for it and it's from my back yard. It's all about them first! :(

Should a blogging site be worried if a multibillion dollar company with plenty of people analyzing a situation is ready to go international?

Come on, there are more US folks who will buy the iPad 2 over internationals. Sales are higher here in US vs. elsewhere! We should have a competition. Canadians will not buy as many as US will. Crystal clear, right?

I don't understand why Apple never learns from their previous botched launches. Well, I guess I can understand a bit here. The competition was starting to heat up, and they needed to act fast to hold off the copy-cats for a little while longer.
Still, Apple has got to get these logistics issues worked out somehow. Where is the bottleneck? Find that bottleneck and replace it in the supply chain. Easier said than done obviously, but they surely have the resources to explore their option.

Are they for real "us first!"??? Demand will not catch up whether they delay a month or not so making the rest of the world wait so you can "have yours first" is just asinine. Besides most of the rest of the world is paying more like Canada. Our dollar trumps the Us dollar yet we pay $20 more on every model. Maybe Canada should be first and the US can wait!

Yea! mine is finally shipping! So that means they are shipping orders that were placed on Launch day! So I have no problem with the world launch now. That was my only beef, take care of all orders from your original launch before doing another launch!
cant wait till tuesday!

Lucky you--I also ordered on the March 11 launch day and mine will not be shipped until April 1.

just a short question from a non US citizen: I would like to go to buy a new ipod nano. did anyone in US already had the chance to buy one or should i still wait till the last one of you has one?
regarding the ipad2: everyone on this planet knows that there will be a run on the ipad2. If you want to (or wanted) have as one of the first you have (or had) two chances: wait in front of the store for two days or make a reservation immidately. if you didn't made both of it: sorry. your problem...

Just want to throw it out that I ordered mine through the military-only Army Air Force Exchange which only allowed online ordering on retail launch day (after 5 pm no less) and got mine delivered via fedex on the 17th directly from apple. Just saying if you know anyone in the military get them to hook you up! Also I took advantage of the fact that Apple allocated a decent portion to military base exchanges and went ahead and ordered another one to sell on eBay (sorry) last Friday and it arrived today so they should still have stock.

I bought my 32gb wifi in black at target last wednesday and they have not had anymore since then. I tried on release day, they had 5 64gb 3G in white but I was #6 and missed out. I waslucky enough to get mine first thing last Wednesday when it got off the delivery truck. But I've wanted the white from the start and mine has the infamous yellow bleeding light so I've planned to exchange it but they have not received any. They have only had 6 total and it's coming up on 2 weeks. They could sell a million more of theses in days if they had the stock. Heck with international,take care of us here in the old US of A and then let the others get theirs. I still call target every Monday, Wednesday Friday morning to check if they get in stock hoping to exchange for the white and pray it doesn't have the yellow bleeding light problem.
Congrats to those who were able to get one and good luck to those still waiting.

"Heck with international,take care of us here in the old US of A and then let the others get theirs"
Do you live in a trailer in the South?

Its pretty ridiculous to demand something anti-capitalism like "US customers first". Dont you know that Apple is making alot more money per unit sold in Europe than in the US? And its not just a tax question. 499€ is alot more than $499 and as such it is against Apples best interest to follow your egocentric and flawed logic. Not gonna happen also not for future launches, take my word for it.
Besides that, international resellers own valid contracts with Apple. They could drag Apple to court and milk every cent out of them for not honoring the contract. Thats how the real world works.

I just want my IPAD 2 gosh! is that all to ask for?
i want it here in my area and hundreds in every store so everyone is guaranteed!
Ipad 3 already?
im not buying an IPAD 2 anymore because i want the newest GADGETS if steve jobs is looking at this....next time make hundreds! FOR EVERY REATAILER and make it possible for metro pcs ? i want it for 3G many people will buy your products

No fighting kids...it is just a toy not a heart transplant. If you like you can keep first iPad which BTW has better color, contrast on video reproduction, and send the money you were going to spend...to Japan.
Trust me, you will feel more fulfilled afterwards.

The real problem here is that Apple is being irresponsible across international boundaries. Why would any company choose to introduce a product in any market when they can't even come close to meeting consumer demand? Either Apple's marketing department is incapable of accurately forecasting demand, or their manufacturing and supply chain people didn't believe them. (Or perhaps they just like jerking off their prospective customers.)
In any case, it's a very consumer-unfriendly way to introduce a new product.