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Monday, March 14, 2011, 01:25 pm PT (04:25 pm ET)

Some Apple retail stores plan to open early Tuesday for iPad 2 sales

As customers continue to contend with scarce available stock of the iPad 2, some Apple stores plan to open an hour early on Tuesday just for iPad 2 buyers.

As first reported by AppleBitch, some customers around the country have received word from their local stores will open early Tuesday. Most stores open at 10 a.m., so the new time would be 9 a.m. local time.

AppleInsider also contacted a number of retail stores and received a variety of responses, from employees who expect new stock on Tuesday along with an early opening, to others who said they do not know when shipments of the iPad 2 will arrive, and knew nothing of an early Tuesday opening.

Regardless, it would appear that some stores are planning to have inventory available come Tuesday morning, and will sell them first to customers who arrive early for an iPad 2.

By Saturday, the iPad 2 was largely sold out at Apple's retail stores and all other retail partners that sold the product at launch. A few analysts who checked with stores around the country found that stock was 100 percent sold out before the weekend was out.

Employees at Apple's retail stores have said they expect to continue to receive shipments of the iPad 2 on a regular basis. However, no stores contacted by AppleInsider could offer any specifics as to when new stock would become available at their location.

Apple indicated on Monday that initial demand for the iPad 2 has been "amazing." The company said it is working to increase availability "as quickly as possible," but offered no other details or information.

Over the weekend, new online orders for the iPad 2 placed through Apple's store had their estimated shipping date pushed back as far as a month. It is believed that Apple sold at least a half million of the iPad 2 over the weekend, though some more bullish estimates have pegged the number at one million.