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Apple stores completely sold out of iPad 3G, furnish waiting lists


Apple's iPad 3G remains sold out in most of the company's retail stores, prompting "Notify Me" waiting lists that will give customers first priority when supplies are replenished.

Ten Apple stores across the U.S. contacted by AppleInsider Thursday were all sold out of the 3G-capable model of the iPad, in all storage capacities. Some of the stores said they were also sold out of all Wi-Fi models, while others had limited stock.

Customers who want the iPad 3G, first released last Friday, can sign up for Apple's "Notify Me" service, which will e-mail customers when the product comes back in stock. Those who sign up for the list have first priority on the iPad 3G, and will have 24 hours to pick up the device when it arrives in store.

Some locations said customers had to come in to a store in person to sign up for the "Notify Me" service, though most contacted said the registration could be done over the phone.

Walk-in customers will not be able to buy an iPad 3G until the store's waiting list has been addressed.

Some stores said their supplies of the Wi-Fi model continue to trickle in, though demand is strong. One California store indicated they received more Wi-Fi-only iPads on Thursday, but have not had any of their iPad 3G stock replenished.

Apple's online store has a waiting list of 5-7 business days for both the Wi-Fi-only and 3G + Wi-Fi iPad models.

The first day of iPad 3G sales was enough to push the device over the 1 million milestone, Apple announced this week. The Wi-Fi-only model was released 28 days earlier, on April 3.

By the end of launch weekend for the iPad 3G, an informal poll of Apple stores found that most were sold out, and supplies of the Wi-Fi model were also limited. Analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray predicted that Apple sold 300,000 of the iPad 3G on its opening weekend, though Apple did not provide a specific breakdown of sales by model.

Another survey released this week found that most customers buying the iPad 3G said they would opt for the least expensive 16GB model, starting at $629. The 3G iPad carries a $130 premium over its Wi-Fi counterpart, with the 32GB model costing $729 and the 64GB version for $829.