第一代iPad仅在苹果零售店和某些百思买门店首发，但iPad 2不一样，买家现在有10000多种途径可供选择，不过，每种选择都有利也有弊。同样，大家也有更多的型号可供挑选：2种颜色（黑色和白色）；3种存储容量（16GB、32GB和64GB）；2种无线网络配置（Wi-Fi版和Wi-Fi+3G版）；2家无线运营商[威瑞森（Verizon）和美国电话电报公司（AT&T）]，总共有18种不同型号的iPad 2可供选择。（而且还有多种颜色的智能套。）
•离你最近的苹果商店：苹果在美国拥有236家零售店。如果你的住所附近有家零售店，特别是旗舰店的话，去店里购买iPad 2可能是你最好的选择，因为这样你才最有希望买到自己中意的型号。当货源短缺时，苹果会给予自家零售店最高优先级，因为零售店的利润都是苹果自己的，而不用分给中间商。苹果零售店的队伍通常很长，不过店员们都更友好、效率更高而且更了解情况。首发日蜂拥而至的人群，这样的场景苹果见得多了，它知道如何迅速而周到地安抚好大家。不过有两点需要附加说明：第一，位于郊区的苹果零售店在该公司地位较低，其商品供应量也稍逊一筹；第二，如果你住在得州奥斯丁附近，要当心本周末涌去参加South By Southwest音乐节的数千苹果粉丝。
•苹果的零售伙伴：百思买（BestBuy）、塔吉特（Target）、沃尔玛（Wal-Mart）和山姆俱乐部（Sam's Club）都宣布，将在本周五开卖iPad 2，具体时间可能为下午5点。这些零售店的优点在于数量众多，你开车能到的可能有好几家店。缺点是首发日它们通常只能从苹果那里象征性的获得些供货，有时只有区区十来部，很少能超过几十部。百思买的广告宣称，其商店将备有每种型号的iPad 2，这可能意味着它们仅有18部iPad 2。所以最好在去之前打个电话，问问那边你想要的型号货源是否充足。
•威瑞森和美国电话电报公司：无线运营商们同样拥有好几千家遍布全美的门店。不过可供挑选的iPad 2型号将相对较少。它们不会提供Wi-Fi版iPad 2，也不会提供可在竞争对手网络使用的iPad 2。科技博客Mashable的克里斯蒂娜•沃伦为大家提供了一条有用的建议：大型苹果零售店附近的运营商门店可能没那么拥挤。
As you may have heard, Apple's (AAPL) new and improved iPad 2 goes on sale in the U.S. Friday at 5 p.m. local time.
Unlike the first model, which was initially available only through Apple's retail stores and selected Best Buy outlets, buyers this year have choices -- more than 10,000 of them, each with their pros and cons. They will also have more models to contend with. Between 2 colors (black and white), 3 memory sizes (16GB, 32GB and 64GB), 2 wireless configurations (Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi+3G) and 2 wireless carriers (Verizon and AT&T), there are 18 different iPad 2s to choose from. (Let's not even get started with the multi-colored Smart Covers.)
Which option is best for you depends on where you live and how particular you are about the iPad you want.
Here are your choices:
•Your nearest Apple Store. Apple has 236 retail outlets in the U.S., and if you live near one -- particularly one of its flagship stores -- that's probably your best bet for getting the exact model you're looking for. When supplies are short, Apple gives first preference to its own outlets, where it doesn't have to share profits with a middleman. The lines are usually longer at the Apple stores, but the staff is friendlier, more efficient and better informed. Apple has been seen a lot of big first-day crowds come and go and it knows how to handle them briskly and thoughtfully. Two caveats: Apple Stores in suburban malls are lower on the corporate food chain and don't have the same deep supplies. And if you live near Austin, Texas, watch out for the thousands of Apple zealots attending the South By Southwest conference this weekend.
•Apple's retail partners. BestBuy (BBY), Target (TGT), Wal-Mart (WMT) and Sam's Club have all announced that they will also be selling iPad 2s on Friday, presumably also starting at 5 p.m. The advantage of these retail outlets is that there are thousands of them and probably several within driving distance. The disadvantage is that they usually only get a token first-day supply from Apple -- sometimes as few as 10 units and rarely more than a few dozen. Best-Buy's ads claims that their stores will have all every configuration in stock, which could mean as few as 18 iPads. It's probably worth calling ahead to make sure they have sufficient quantities of the model you want.
•AT&T and Verizon. The wireless carriers also have thousands of stores spread out across the country. Their selection will be more limited, however. They won't be carrying the Wi-Fi-only models or units compatible with their competitor's network. Mashable's Christina Warren helpfully suggests that outlets located near a big Apple Store are likely to be less crowded.
•Apple.com. Apple's online store will begin taking orders Friday at 12:01 PST (3:01 a.m. EST) and is offering free shipping. Deliveries won't happen before Monday, but at least you'll be certain to get the model you want. For a real bargain, check out the special clearance section, where the company is selling last year's models for $100 off.