iPad 2 Availability: Apple, AT&T, Verizon, Walmart, More

Apple’s new iPad 2 is set to go on sale at 5PM local time on Friday, March 11, and unlike the original iPad launch Apple isn’t letting customers place orders ahead of time. Since everyone that wants an iPad 2 on launch day will have to stand in line, The Mac Observer put together a list of places that, with any luck, will have some in stock.

Apple Store
Apple’s own U.S. retail locations will all have iPad 2 inventory available on March 11, which gives potential customers 236 stores around the country to line up at. Employees will need to set up for the launch event, so don’t be surprised when they ask shoppers to step outside about an hour ahead of sale time.

Customers that buy a new iPad at Apple’s retail locations can take advantage of personal setup assistance, too. Employees will help customers set up their email accounts, install applications, and more.

Apple will also start selling the iPad through its Web-based store at 4AM eastern time on Friday.

iPad 2Apple’s iPad 2 will be available at several retail locations

Phone Carriers
AT&T and Verizon will both be selling the iPad 2 on launch day, although their retail locations most likely won’t have the same level of inventory as Apple’s own stores. Like Apple’s retail locations, Verizon and AT&T will open their doors at 5PM local time for iPad 2 sales.

AT&T will be selling the iPad 2 online starting at 4AM eastern time, too. Verizon, however, won’t be offering online sales during the launch, but is letting customers call in and place orders after 5PM.

For customers that don’t want to line up at their local Apple store, or don’t have a store near by, Walmart, Best Buy and Target will have at least some iPad 2 units on hand, although there isn’t any word yet on exactly how well stocked the stores will be.

Some Authorized Apple Resellers will have iPad 2 units on hand for launch day, too, so be sure to check with your local reseller to see if they’ll be selling the new iPads on Friday as well.

There’s a good chance that at least Apple’s own stores will see lines ahead of the 5PM launch, so be ready to spend some time waiting to buy your iPad Friday evening. With the number of locations that will be offering the new iPad, however, those lines most likely won’t be nearly as long as they were for the original iPad launch almost a year ago.