iPad 2 shipping estimates now three to four weeks, retail availability hit and miss

Already get your iPad 2? Then consider yourself lucky, as anyone trying to get one now will likely require quite a bit of patience. As you may have noticed, Apple's shipping times for online orders have now slipped yet again from the previous two to three week estimate to a lengthy three to four weeks, although things may not be quite that straightforward. Some folks are reporting that they're already receiving shipping notices even though their estimated delivery date was weeks away, so Apple might just be being overly cautious with its estimates. On the other hand, there's also been some reports of Apple canceling orders for being "over the limit" -- even from folks that have just ordered one iPad -- although those seem to be few and far between at the moment.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the situation is even more confusing at retail stores (Apple or otherwise). There are numerous reports of stores being sold out completely, and yet more of stores that have only received certain models (something we've also seen first hand). What's more, it seems that retail stores have largely been unable to give folks a clear indication as to when new stock will arrive, which prompted some folks to line up each morning just to see if a new shipment has come in (as pictured above). Of course, as far as problems go, this is probably one that Apple doesn't mind having, although it does certainly seem like there's some room for improvement before the inevitable iPad 3 launch.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]