updated 11:45 am EDT, Thu July 22, 2010
Goal could be accomplished by weekend
Apple is looking to shrink or wipe out waiting lists for the iPad and iPhone 4, and soon, a source in the company says. Apple Stores regularly maintain "Priority Lists" that reserve devices for people in the order that requests were made. While these also serve the purpose of telling Apple how to manage production, some stores now allegedly have as many as 250 to 750 people on hold for iPads, and 500 to 1,500 waiting for iPhones, leaving many potentially unsatisfied customers.
The Apple source claims that the objective is to fill these orders by the weekend, resulting in store managers asking for an "all hands on deck" approach from other workers. The company could potentially open stores earlier on Sunday to accommodate extra traffic, though this is less certain. The source estimates that if Apple does clear out the lists, anywhere between 500,000 and 1 million iPads and iPhones could be sold in a space of days.
The likelihood of Apple being able to satisfy demand for both products at once may be small. Online shipping times for the iPhone 4 are still listed at three weeks. In announcing Q3 results, Apple executives explained that they were not sure when they would be able to meet demand, either for the iPhone or the iPad.