Apple Shaves a Week Off iPad Ship Times

Shipping times for Apple’s newest iPad models are improving. Ahead of the third generation iPad’s release on March 16, shipping times for online orders had slipped out to three weeks, but now are showing a 1-2 week shipping delay.

iPad shipping delays reduced by a weekiPad shipping delays reduced by a week

Delays in shipping quickly shot up to the multi-week level within days of the third gen iPad pre-order launch on March 7, leaving customers that didn’t order right away wondering if they’d have a better chance of getting the new model by waiting in line at their local Apple Store. So far it seems like that’s still the better option for users that don’t feel like waiting for weeks to get their new iPad.

Apple has been able to keep up with in-store demand even though many of its stores had long lines on launch day and a steady stream of customers through the launch weekend.

While Apple’s strong inventory could be seen as a sign people aren’t buying the new tablet, it looks like it’s more of a case where the company was able to produce far more units ahead of the launch than it did for previous iPad rollouts.

Apple reported on Monday that is sold three million iPads during the launch weekend. In comparison, it sold some 15.4 million iPads during its December quarter — typically the big sales quater thanks to Christmas shoppers.

The decrease in wait time for online iPad orders is good news for customers since they won’t have to wait quite as long for their new tablet. It’s good news for Apple, too, since it looks like production is catching up with demand.