Apple has a history of allowing stock levels of products to dwindle prior to releasing a refresh of its products, and if current inventory reports from Europe are anything to go by, then the iPad 2 is on its way. However, we would suggest a few caveats before heading down to your local Apple store to get in line.
9to5Mac came up with the above screenshot showing that stock levels of the iPad 3G models at Carphone Wearhouse in Europe are all sold out, and other retailers are reporting similar situations. While interesting, typically Apple does not release products to both the United States and Europe at the same time as a means of making sure it can handle manufacturing capacity. If the company was to release to both regions of the world at the same time, there would be shortages to be sure, and that’s not something Apple has ever wanted to be known for.
There is, however, another piece of evidence from Europe that is a bit more curious, and that is the fact cellular carriers like Orange and T-Mobile are slashing the price of the 3G iPad on contract. If stock levels in Europe have dried up, why would carriers be slashing prices?
A little bit closer to the United States, Future Shop, a major electronics seller in Canada, is also reporting that some models are sold out, and low stocks on the remaining ones.
This is an interesting predicament as usually the reports move from the United States to elsewhere, and not the other way around. It could mean nothing, or it could mean that the iPad 2 announcement we’ve been waiting on is finally right around the corner. The first version of the iPad was announced on Jan. 27th, 2010, and released in early April of that year, so the belief was that we would have had an announcement by now, but yet we’re still waiting. We know the second iteration is coming, it’s just a matter of when.
What do you think? Is this an indication the iPad 2 release is imminent?