Shortages

Spot shortages of iPads spread

May 21, 2010: 9:23 AM ET

They're getting to the point, says an analyst, where Apple could miss Wall Street's targets

Gene Munster's team at Piper Jaffray called 50 Apple stores this week and found a "very limited" supply of iPads. Specifically:

  • 37 (74%) of stores were completely sold out of all models
  • All 50 (100%) were sold out of the 3G models
  • 13 (26%) had only Wi-Fi models left to sell

This is no better -- and in some respects, even worse -- than what he found two days after the big iPad 3G launch, when at least one store still had the model in stock. (See here.)

With the international roll-out of the iPad scheduled to begin May 28 -- a week from today -- Munster believes that supply won't catch up to demand until mid to late summer.

Photo: Apple Inc.

He acknowledges that his estimate for the June quarter of 1.3 million iPads is laughably low, given that Apple sold its 1 millionth iPad three weeks ago.

But in the note to clients issued Friday, he raises for the first time the possibility that Apple's (AAPL) inability to meet demand could end up hurting investors. As he puts it:

"While we see upside to our 1.3m iPad estimate in the June quarter and believe in the iPad as a long-term investable theme, we believe near-term Street numbers are getting ahead of Apple's supply."

In other words, Apple's shares could take a hit in July if the company doesn't report the kinds of iPad sales in the June quarter that other analysts have been predicting.

See also:

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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