Two weeks ago, my father told me he wanted to get an iPad 2 for the family... that my friends... is where my story begins.
Like everyone else who was in the hunt for the elusive device, I had heard all the stories about there being absolutely no inventory.. anywhere. To me, these were just rumours... and they really only applied to the U.S. My father had been one of the people to fuel these rumours because he had tried multiple times in the U.S. with no luck. He couldn't understand why there were no devices in stock... he was beginning to lose hope. At this point, he turned to me and asked if I could pick one up for him from Canada.
I agreed... naively believing that these rumours... couldn't be true for Canada.
I began my search in the wonderful city of Waterloo... surely everyone there was waiting for the Playbook to support the local folk (RIM) right?.... Wrong. Last weekend I visited and called 4 different stores in my area and learned very sadly that, "we're all sold out."
At this point... an iPad hunter has one of 2 options: 1. Wait for an unknown period of time, 2. Order it online and wait for 2-3 weeks. My problem... I didn't have much time. I was meeting my dad in the U.S on Thursday and I really did not want to disappoint him.
When I asked the retail employees about when they may get a new shipment in... every one had the same response, "Apple basically just ships them to us at any time... they kind of just show up at our door. We have no idea what kinds we'll be getting before hand or how many... they sort of just show up."
So trying to get an iPad from a retail store is basically like trying to shoot a pendulum in a pitch black room.
The thing is, if you want something bad enough, you will likely stop at nothing to get it and believe me... iPad hunters want something bad enough. At this point, I was fully immersed in the hunt.
Over the next 3 days (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday), I tried calling various stores each day to no avail. One thing I learned... if you ever call a Future Shop just hit 7 to talk to a human. Anyway, before I knew it, it was Thursday and time for me to take a trip to the U.S to meet my dad and tell him the sad news. Our only hope was to find one in the city of Torrance (California), where we were staying.
More sad news. We visited 4 stores (including a TOYS'R'US)... nothing. We were looking for a specific model, a 3G 16Gb version... what the local folks call the 'AT&T' version... here's what most store employees told us, "Yeah the AT&T version is pretty much impossible to get, all of these foreigners come in and pick them upbecause they can be used in other countries." ... little did these employees know... that is EXACTLY what my dad wanted to do.
At the point all hope was essentially lost. My dad and I returned to our hotel room, changed into some comfortable clothes and decided to take an afternoon nap...
but as you can tell by the title of this post, the story isn't over. Before we napped, I decided to pick up the phone and call the local BestBuy, here's basically how the conversation went:
"Hey there, I was just wondering if you have any iPad2's in stock?"
"One second, let me check for you"
(what felt like 600 seconds later)...
"Hey there, we JUST got a new shipment in and we're sorting through them now... we've got about 20 units in."
"Ok, that's great... thanks."
Less than one minute later, I was in a rented car with my clothes barely on, driving to a location I had memorized in a few seconds because I was too rushed to plug it into our GPS.
I pulled up to the BestBuy in Torrance... parked my car... ran into the store... 15 minutes later... I walked out.. a lot more jovial and a little less rich.
That my friends... the the story... of how I found the elusive iPad 2.
Moral of the story: Persistence pays.