Apple Store Streamlines Online iPad Purchasing

Apple’s Web-based store was offline part of Friday morning, leading to the inevitable speculation that new iPhone models were about to be announced. Instead of an updated smartphone, however, Apple used the downtime to improve its process for selecting and purchasing a new iPad 2.

iPad 2 online order system revampPick an iPad 2 with three clicks

The revised iPad 2 purchase page lets users choose exactly which model they want with three mouse clicks (four when buying an iPad 2 with 3G support), and clearly lists exactly which models are in stock. The order page includes a summary showing which iPad was selected, and also includes quick access to Apple’s online chat support for pre-purchase questions.

Apple is rumored to be planning a September or October launch for the next iPhone model, presumably the iPhone 5. The company has previously announced new iPhones at media events, and will likely do the same when the successor to the iPhone 4 is introduced.

Without a new iPhone announcement today, shoppers will have to be content with a faster online iPad 2 ordering system.

[Thanks to The Next Web for the heads up.]